Indianapolis Colts: Top 5 Free Agents Colts Should Sign In 2013
Indianapolis Colts: Top 5 Free Agents Colts Should Sign in 2013
The Indianapolis Colts were in serious rebuild mode this offseason, after cleaning house of nearly every player from the previous regime. They parted ways with many big names like Peyton Manning, Dallas Clark, Joseph Addai, Jeff Saturday, Gary Brackett, Melvin Bullitt, and Pierre Garcon among others. The Colts also brought in a whole new front office and coaching staff and decided to totally change the culture of this team.
What no one expected though, is this team would be so good so fast. They’ve already won more games this season in five games than they’ve won in all of last season combined. They have 30 players that have one year or fewer NFL experience and playing a brand new style of ball.
The Colts don’t have much more to do to have this team fully rebuilt rather than adding a few veteran pieces and rookies for the future to build depth. They also won’t be losing many players from this year’s team as the only big named notable that will be a free agent is linebacker Dwight Freeney.
The Colts surely will cut ties with Freeney as he’s the highest paid player in the NFL this year, and I don’t expect them to want to sign him to anywhere near that much. He could always come back from a lot less, but there’s surely a market out there where someone will overpay for him.
The Colts do have the most cap room in the entire league and can really make an immediate impact for next season with these free agents:
OL Jake Long
One area the Colts needs to improve upon is the offensive line. There’s not one guy out there better to bring in than Jake Long. Long was the top pick in the 2008 draft to the Miami Dolphins, and he’s played his entire five-year career there.
Long could come in and make a huge impact on this team as he’s a 6’7 315-pound tackle. If the Colts can sway Long they could move last year’s first round pick Anthony Castonzo to right tackle, as the current right tackle Winston Justice is a free agent.
Could you imagine an offensive line with Long and Castonzo on both ends? Good luck to defenders trying to get by those two.
OL Duane Brown
The Colts have enough room to sign multiple players next year. The should definitely go after Long and Duane Brown to help the line. Getting both would be tremendous, but one would work too.
Brown is a 6’4 318-pound guard that could come in and help block Andrew Luck’s blindside with Castonozo or even better Jake Long. Brown was a former first round draft pick to the Houston Texans in 2008 and has been a big part of their improved offensive line.
Brown would be a good pick-up because he’s not just a good pass blocker, but he’s also a fantastic run blocker. That’s something the Colts needs badly, and the addition of Brown could have an immediate effect.
Imagine Long, Brown, Samson Satele, and Castonzo on the same offensive line. That’s a phenomenal young group that could help Luck and this offense be the best in the league.
CB Brent Grimes
The Colts seem to be searching all year for secondary help. They made the trade for Vontae Davis, but that trade is still up to the jury as to how good it was. Bringing in Brent Grimes would make the secondary not just good, but great because they would have four very solid corners who can defend anyone. Grimes would certainly be the No. 1 corner as he’s a shutdown cornerback and they can move Jerraud Powers to No. 2. Add Davis and Cassius Vaughn for nickel coverage, and teams won’t be able to pass on this team.
Grimes has 13 interceptions and 195 tackles the last four years, and will be just the player to shore up this secondary. I hope the Colts can make a good offer for him and bring him in.
DE Cliff Avril
The Colts’ defensive line still needs some work. Cory Redding has been a great addition, and if they can bring in one more guy, they won’t need to use a high draft pick on one in April. Cliff Avril will be a solid guy to bring in to line up opposite of Redding.
Avril has made 102 tackles and 31.5 sacks since he was drafted in the third round of the 2008 draft to the Detroit Lions. He’s coming off of his best year in 2011, putting up 30 tackles and 11 sacks.
Avril is fast and great in the pass rush, and can help compliment this line. He also may take a bit of a hometown discount as well, since he played collegiate ball in Indiana for Purdue.
OLB Anthony Spencer
The best replacement for Dwight Freeney right now is Anthony Spencer. This allows the Colts to draft a younger guy to sit and learn for a couple of years and take over. A group of Robert Mathis, Pat Angerer, Kavell Conner, and Anthony Spencer is extremely good. Mix that with the new phenom Jerrell Freeman, and that’s a strong group.
Spencer has played in the 3-4 during his entire NFL career and has been very solid. He has 210 tackles and 23.5 sacks in five years with the Cowboys, and like Avril, he is a Purdue alum.
Spencer is a great pass rusher, but also is an underrated guy when he drops back in coverage. I think Spencer would be a great fit to this team.