Indianapolis Colts Make Some Big Moves in Day 1 of Free Agency

By Eric Smith
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

It was expected that the Indianapolis Colts were going to make some big noise on the first day of NFL free agency. They had the most cap room in the entire league and had some positions to fill. Both owner Jim Irsay and GM Ryan Grigson made it known all offseason that they planned to upgrade this team through free agency.

After day one, they did just that.

Indianapolis brought in offensive lineman Gosder Cherilusguard Donald Thomas, cornerback Greg Toler and linebackers Erik Walden and Lawrence Sidbury. None of these moves are what Colts fans want, but they have to just stay tuned and be patient.

Cherilus comes from the Detroit Lions, where he’s spent his entire five year career and started in 71 of his 75 career NFL games. He’s a big 6’7-320 pound lineman and would be a great right tackle.

The Colts aren’t going to move current left tackle and former first round draft pick Anthony Castanzo from his spot, so now they have two huge tackles that are very valuable in protecting Andrew Luck. I’d still expect them to pick up at least one more offensive lineman and make that unit very tough.

Thomas played with the New England Patriots the past two years and is a solid guard pick up. He can start with Mike McGlynn and bring the Colts line some desperate help. These two pickups are very good for the Colts.

The defensive pickups aren’t too popular around Indianapolis, but Colts fans have to know these guys aren’t picked up to be studs.

Toler has played all four years with the Arizona Cardinals and has 128 tackles and five interceptions. He’s definitely an upgrade as far as depth and he’s better than Darius Butler and Cassius Vaughn. He has the height the Colts want at this position and likely won’t start.

Walden is a bit of a head scratcher as he’s going to be playing opposite Robert Mathis. We’re not sure yet if he will be a starter or not, but he’s getting paid good money.

He played with the Packers the past two years and was a  part of the Super Bowl winning team there. He has 154 career tackles and nine sacks during his NFL tenure. He’s 6-2 and 250 pounds, so he’s much bigger than Dwight Freeney at the position.

Finally, Sidbury is a hybrid linebacker/defensive end whose impact has yet to be felt. He was a member of the Atlanta Falcons last season, where he only recorded one tackle.

The Colts missed out on LB Paul Kruger as he signed a big deal with the Cleveland Browns. He was believed to be coming to Indianapolis because he knows the system very well with Chuck Pagano being his old defensive coordinator.

There are still some options out there for Indy as they’re in the mix for defensive end Cliff Avril, safeties Ed Reed and LaRon Landry, defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois and offensive tackle Jake Long.

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