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This offseason marked another year where the Indianapolis Colts were one of the top teams in cap space. Fans get their hopes up thinking General Manager Chris Ballard will change his free agency approach to support his “rookie” quarterback.

Once again, Ballard stuck to his core beliefs. He retained almost every single free agent the Colts had. The only two they didn’t retain were Zack Moss and Gardner Minshew.

Houston, Tennessee, and Jacksonville on the other hand, went out of their way to add talent around C.J. Stroud, Trevor Lawrence, and Will Levis. Hell, Houston and Jacksonville let proven players walk in free agency and brought in players that are just as good, if not better.

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Houston Texans

  • RE-SIGNED – Dalton Schultz, Ka’imi Fairbairn, Desmond King II, Khalil Davis, Noah Brown
  • SIGNED – Azeez Al-Shaair, Derek Barnett, CJ Henderson, Mario Edwards, Folorunso Fatukasi, Danielle Hunter, Denico Autry, Jeff Okudah
  • LOST – Jonathan Greenard, Sheldon Rankins, Devin Singletary, and Blake Cashman
  • ACQUIRED – Stefon Diggs and Joe Mixon
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Indianapolis Colts

  • RE-SIGNED – Michael Pittman Jr., Grover Stewart, Tyquan Lewis, Kenny Moore II, Julian Blackmon, Genard Avery, Taven Bryan, Rigoberto Sanchez, Danny Pinter, Trey Sermon, and Ronnie Harrison Sr.
  • SIGNED – Joe Flacco and Raekwon Davis
  • LOST – Zack Moss and Gardner Minshew
  • ACQUIRED – Nobody 
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Jacksonville Jaguars

  • RE-SIGNED – D’Ernest Johnson, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine
  • SIGNED – Arik Armstead, Mitch Morse, Gabe Davis, Ronald Darby, Devin Duvernay, Darnell Savage, Joey Slye
  • LOST – Calvin Ridley, Darious Williams, Foley Fatukasi, Rayshawn Jenkins
  • ACQUIRED – Mac Jones
  • STILL FREE AGENTS – Tre Herndon, Jamal Agnew, Dawuane Smoot
Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans

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Tennessee Titans

  • RE-SIGNED – Nick Folk
  • SIGNED – Calvin Ridley, Lloyd Cushenberry, Chidobe Awuzie, Tony Pollard, Kenneth Murray Jr., Mason Rudolph, Sebastian Joseph-Day
  • LOST – Derrick Henry, Azeez Al-Shaair, Sean Murphy-Bunting, Aaron Brewer, Denico Autry, Christian Fulton,
  • ACQUIRED – L’Jarius Sneed
  • STILL FREE AGENTS – Ryan Tannehill, Andrew Dillard, Terrell Edmunds

This is year EIGHT for the Colts GM. Indianapolis is 54-60-1 since he took over for Ryan Grigson in 2017. Yes, he had to deal with the Andrew Luck retirement. That excuse cannot be made anymore. Philip Rivers and Carson Wentz were one-year band-aids. A once dominant organization has not won the AFC South since 2014.

Houston has won the division five times, Tennessee twice, and Jacksonville once. At what point will it take for him to realize that his approach in free agency or trade market needs to change? One of the pillars to the Colts team was acquired via trade in his first offseason. Adding DeForest Buckner was a slam dunk. The Colts were reportedly in on Danielle Hunter, but he chose to go to Houston instead. This ultimately led Ballard to re-sign almost all their free agents.

All eyes have seemingly turned towards the NFL Draft that is less than a month away for the Colts front office. Anthony Richardson can still be viewed as a “rookie” because of how limited his time was on the field. When Richardson went down, it was evident that the Colts needed to add an explosive playmaker offensively. It should have been an obvious need wen the Colts offense couldn’t do much against the Atlanta Falcons without Michael Pittman Jr.

As for the defense, when it faced an offense with a respectable quarterback that had weapons, the secondary got shredded. Derek Carr, P.J. Walker, Trevor Lawrence, C.J. Stroud, and Matthew Stafford. Indianapolis was 1-6 against those quarterbacks. They were 8-2 against Lamar Jackson, Ryan Tannehill, Will Levis, Bryce Young, Mac Jones, Baker Mayfield, Mitchell Trubisky, Taylor Heinicke, Jake Browning, and Aiden O’Connell.

It is a much more daunting schedule this season for the Colts defense.

  • C.J. Stroud (twice)
  • Trevor Lawrence (twice)
  • Will Levis (twice)
  • Josh Allen
  • Tua Tagovailoa
  • Jarred Goff
  • Aaron Rodgers
  • Jordan Love
  • Russell Wilson or Justin Fields
  • Caleb Williams
  • Daniel Jones
  • New England Patriots QB
  • Minnesota Vikings QB
  • Denver Broncos QB

On Query & Company Wednesday afternoon, Indianapolis Colts beat reporter Nate Atkins from the IndyStar joined the show and weighed in on that debate.

To listen to Jake Query and Jimmy Cook’s conversation with Nate Atkins, download the podcast containing the conversation below! You can always listen to the Query & Company from 12pm-3pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan. You can also watch and interact with the show by going to the 107.5 The Fan YouTube Channel.

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