INDIANAPOLIS – Colts fans hope the move they saw Wednesday morning won’t be the only one at that position this week.
Veteran wideout Marcus Johnson is returning to the Colts for a third season, after the wideout re-signed a one-year deal with Indianapolis.
The re-signing of Johnson should in no way lessen the immediate, or long-term, draft need that remains at wide receiver.
Even though the Colts did not bring Johnson back as a restricted free agent in March, a month of free agency has gone and past, and a reunion is now happening, following Indianapolis making zero moves at wideout this offseason.
“There were a couple of guys we kind of dabbled with, but at the end of the day it just didn’t work out,” Ballard said of making no outside moves at wide receiver this offseason. “Sometimes it happens that way.”
Johnson returning is a wise move by the Colts.
The speedy wideout was one of the rare player trades that the Colts have made in the Chris Ballard era.
An August 2018 move to acquire Johnson reunited him with Frank Reich from the 2017 season in Philly, where Johnson entered the league as an undrafted free agent.
Injuries have hurt Jonson’s development, but he has shown some big play ability when healthy.
To close out last season, Johnson started 6 of the final 7 games for the Colts, catching 17 balls for 277 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Depending on how much receiver activity the Colts have in the draft, the 25-year-old Johnson should have a reasonable chance at competing for an open roster spot behind the likes of T.Y. Hilton, Zach Pascal, Parris Campbell.
Before signing Johnson, the Colts had 10 wideouts on the roster, and only 5 had caught a pass in the NFL. Johnson’s 28 career catches ranks 3rd on the current receiver depth chart in Indy (behind T.Y. Hilton and Zach Pascal).
The receiver bunch has lost Devin Funchess, Chester Rogers and Dontrelle Inman from last season.
Historic wide receiver depth in the draft is still an avenue for the Colts to explore in the coming days.
“There is a lot of depth at wideout in the draft,” Ballard said last week. “We feel very good about that, at every level, from guys we think can start to guys that we think can play significant roles.
“Saying that, we do like the depth at wideout in the draft. Getting T.Y. Hilton back healthy again, getting Parris Campbell healthy again, having Zach Pascal, it’s not like it is a complete void at the position. We do think we have some talented guys there.”