It is no secret that the Indianapolis Colts offensive line is very thin. The season-ending injury to Donald Thomas left a hole at guard position and now Khaled Holmes is going to be missing a couple weeks with a sprained ankle. The Colts are going to need help adding depth to the offensive line. With training camp winding down there aren’t many quality options in free agency to fill the need along the offensive line.
Well there maybe one answer; holdout guard Alex Boone for the San Francisco 49ers is looking for a new contract and is open to a trade. According to Bill Williamson of ESPN, numerous teams have contacted the 49ers in order to acquire Boone. He is 27 years old and his contract is paying him two million dollars this year. Boone has outplayed that contract and at age 27 this is probably his best and only chance to earn a quality payday.
The Colts should be one of those teams calling to see what they can get from the standout guard. Like I stated above, the Colts are very thin along the offensive line and if another player goes down with an injury the Colts are going to end up starting a player without any experience. This is a team that has Super Bowl aspirations and wants to run the ball effectively.
Boone would address both those questions. Hugh Thorton has played well at the right guard position in the preseason so far but Boone would provide an upgrade and that could mean the Colts could have depth along the offensive line. The interior running game and pass protection was a problem last year and the addition would be an upgrade.
The only question left to be answered would be a price to acquire Boone. General Manager Ryan Grigson has shown in the past that he is not afraid to pull the trigger on a trade if it means acquiring a starter that can help right away. Look at how he acquired Vontae Davis and Trent Richardson for examples of this. If the Colts were to give up a fourth round pick, it wouldn’t be overly expensive to give them a quality starter. It is highly doubtful they could find someone like that in the fourth round anyways that could provide them with an impact right away.
The contract price could be a problem. Boone probably wants to be paid like a top five guard and the Colts do have the cap space to pay him like one without handicapping themselves for the future. According to Spotrac, the Colts have just over 16 million dollars in space. Three of the highest paying guards in the NFL are getting paid just over 6 million a year. Giving Boone that kind of money would be a bit of a risk but could pay off down the road. A four-year deal would give them a quality starter and would allow Jack Mewhort and Thorton to be on the roster and develop while still giving them a quality option if someone would go down with an injury. Mewhort has experience playing all along the offensive line and could step in too if called upon.
If the Colts were to acquire Boone they would gain a solid guard who can play right away. They would have depth along the offensive line. Finally, it would give them insurance at an important position that is going to be in charge of protecting Andrew Luck.