INDIANAPOLIS – The NFL new league year is underway with many signings impacting the Colts.
Remember, these former Colts have signed elsewhere:
DL-Denico Autry (Titans)
QB-Jacoby Brissett (Dolphins)
LB-Anthony Walker (Browns)
S-Tavon Wilson (49ers)
In years past, Ballard has still re-signed some of his own free agents even after the new league year has begun. But those ‘former’ Colts are now free to sign with any team in the league.
With the Colts sending out tenders to restricted free agents WR-Zach Pascal, S-George Odum and TE-Mo Alie-Cox, the team’s cap space is hovering around $35 million, assuming those 3 do return to Indianapolis. The Colts signed veteran DL-Isaac Rochell to a 1-year deal.
Here are the 8 Colts still on the open market:
- TE-Trey Burton (Age: 29): It was an up and down season for Burton in Indianapolis. After injuring his calf in camp, Burton played the final 13 games of the season. At his best, Burton was a weapon in the red zone, lining up and impacting the game in multiple ways. At his worst, Burton had the highest drop rate of his career and lacked the bigger play ability we saw in Philadelphia. With Jack Doyle (turns 31 in May) under contract and Mo Alie-Cox (turns 28 in September) expected back as a restricted free agent, the Colts could use a young tight end to take over one day.
- OT-Le’Raven Clark (Age: 28): Clark hits free agency for a second straight year, but he’s coming off a torn Achilles from December. This management clearly thought something of Clark to have him return in 2020. But more depth at offensive tackle is an absolute must, as the Colts still search for the future after Anthony Castonzo.
- OT-Chaz Green (Age: 27): Needing to turn to their tackle depth in 2020, Green actually was needed a couple of times in 2020. He also got benched twice. Green has started 8 games in his career.
- C-Joey Hunt (Age: 27): The Colts promoted Hunt from their practice squad on a couple of occasions in 2020, before signing him for good to the 53-man roster. Hunt filled in at left guard for a handful of snaps in December against the Raiders when Quenton Nelson was needed to play left tackle. Hunt has started 11 games in his career.
- DE-Justin Houston (Age: 32): After coming to the Colts having missed 21 games in the previous four seasons, Houston did not miss a game in two seasons in Indianapolis. He put up 19 total sacks (8.0 this year), but was not a consistent enough rusher in 2020 to be considered a strong No. 1 edge presence. Houston had a career-low QB hits per game, and the lowest sacks per game number since his rookie season. Having said that, the Colts love what Houston stands for and the team got hardly anything from young rushers Kemoko Turay and Ben Banogu.
- DE-Al-Quadin Muhammad (Age: 26): Ever since joining the Colts as a waiver claim in 2018, Muhammad has been a solid sub rusher. The staff loves the effort of Muhammad, with his strength being more so as a run defender. Muhammad was a 2017 6th round pick of the Saints. He really checks several boxes to return, depending on how the Colts want to attack the open market at a surprisingly deep edge position.
- CB-T.J. Carrie (Age: 30): Carrie was an important reserve option for the Colts in 2020. With Marvell Tell opting out and Rock Ya-Sin regressing a bit, the Colts needed Carrie to play a good amount. Carrie bounced back with from his 2019 season (57.5 completion percentage allowed compared to 68.3 percent last year; 78.0 passer rating allowed compared to 105.1). Could this be a versatile option to return as the corner market slowly begins to see some action?
- S-Malik Hooker (Age: 25): It’s weird to have a former first-round pick on this list and consider him almost a forgotten man. But that’s Hooker. He tore his Achilles in Week Two last season, adding to the injury issues he’s faced in his young career. Hooker’s specific fit in this defense has been something to debate, and that only grew when seeing how Julian Blackmon had immediate success next to Khari Willis. Unlike Mack, this didn’t seem to have a good chance to see a second contract.
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