Many may think it’s absurd for the Indianapolis Colts to bring in another wide receiver, but that should be near the top of the priority list for them this offseason. They return a solid core but lack the depth still to compete for the next five or so years.
Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton and LaVon Brazill return to this team as Donnie Avery, Austin Collie and Nathan Palmer likely will depart as they’re heading toward free agency. The Colts held five receivers on the active gameday roster last year so they’re two spots short right now.
Wayne will no doubt be the No. 1 receiver again next year as he enters his 13th season in the NFL. Last season he had his best year of his career with 1,355 yards on 106 receptions with five touchdowns. The problem is he’s 34 years old and realistically only has two or three years tops left with the team.
Hilton could be the No. 2 option in former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians’ system, but we don’t know how new coordinator Pep Hamilton will run the offense. Arians liked smaller but quicker receivers and ran great designed plays for them to maximize their matchups. Hamilton may run more of a traditional set with two receivers to the outside and one in the slot. If that happens Hilton will be the No. 3 option and start in the slot spot.
Brazill likely would be the fourth option as he’s still learning. He had a decent season in his rookie year this past year with bringing in 11 receptions and 186 yards with one touchdown. He’s got the size and speed to be an outside receiver but not quite ready yet to start.
All of this means the Colts need a veteran to replace Avery who last year was the Colts’ No. 2 receiver. He was a very solid option for Andrew Luck and came up big when needed. He finished the year second on the team in receptions with 60 and third in yards with 781. He also hauled in three touchdowns with none bigger than the one in Detroit as time expired for the game-winning score.
Guys like Greg Jennings, Mike Wallace and Wes Welker could be extremely good options to sign. Wallace made more sense before the Arians departure but Hamilton could still use him very well or even Jennings as the No. 2 option lining up to the outside. Wallace and Hilton’s speed could be deadly in a deep attack while Wayne could eat up short receptions and yardage.
Another intriguing player the Colts could end up with is Anquan Boldin. The Baltimore Ravens hinted they may have to part with him to afford Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco. Boldin, has a history with Chuck Pagano and would be a tremendous fit for this team. He arguably was the MVP of the Ravens offense in the playoffs this year and made some huge catches.
All in all, the Colts need a veteran that still has some good years left in them to help contribute and take over the top spot when Wayne retires. Jennings, Wallace and Boldin are those guys. The Colts need to capitalize and make this offense quite possibly better than ever before.
Can you imagine Luck having weapons like Wayne, Boldin/Jennings/Wallace or Welker, Hilton, Brazill, Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen? Good luck to defenses.