INDIANAPOLIS – The player Colts higherups went out of their way to laud all offseason long is no longer on the roster.
Hope you didn’t draft Nyheim Hines to your fantasy team, although maybe he’ll flourish away from the blue and white.
The Colts traded one of their most durable and versatile offensive weapons on Tuesday to the Buffalo Bills, making the move before the NFL trade deadline at 4:00 PM eastern.
In return for Hines, who is under contract through 2024, the Colts received a 2023 6th round pick that can turn into a 5th rounder, along with RB-Zack Moss. In 2020, Moss was a 3rd round pick out of Utah. He’s averaged 4.1 yards per carry, caught 44 balls in 31 career games and has no special teams experience. He’s under his rookie contract through 2023.
The move does give the Colts some cap relief, as Hines was making-top 15 running back money.
While the running back position is known for being one of the more replaceable in the NFL, that shouldn’t diminish some of the unique elements Hines brought the Colts. He provided them durability (one missed game in 5 NFL seasons) and versatility (often lining up as a split out wide receiver).
Moving Hines does take away one of the few Colts weapons, who has proven to have the ability in making guys miss in the open field.
With how today’s college game continues to become more and more pass happy, future drafts should have more guys like Hines in that pool of prospects. That has grown a ton over the last 5 years.
Despite frequent mentioning of an expanded role for Hines this offseason, the Colts commitment did not carry over to the season. Hines is averaging the fewest rushes per game of his career. His 3.6 receptions per game is the 3rd fewest of his 5 NFL seasons. That lack of Hines’ usage and the continued quarterback carousel has the 25-year-old leaving Indy looking forward to a new opportunity with the best team in the AFC, led by MVP-favorite Josh Allen.
Given how the Colts were choosing to use Hines (not much), it makes sense they were content to move him, when viewing his contract as a top-15 Colt.
Still, this is yet another sign in a season filled with them of the Colts beliefs in the offseason not translating to productive results during the season.
As far as other moves for the Colts on Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline day, we didn’t see anything in regards to their expensive quarterback room.
The move to Sam Ehlinger as starter created non-playing futures in Indy for Nick Foles and Matt Ryan. Foles was the team’s backup this past Sunday, with Ryan inactive as QB3, as he spent last week rehabbing his right shoulder separation.
Foles and Ryan remaining with the Colts means have a combined cap hit of more than $21 million tied up in two veteran quarterbacks who are not the starter.
It remains to be seen how the Colts will handle a healthy Ryan the rest of the season. Financially, Ryan could earn additional money for 2023 if he were to play and get hurt due to injury insurance. Ryan, 37, already has $12 million guaranteed for next season.
With the trade deadline having come and passed, here’s a look at some of the Colts free agents for the 2023 offseason: WR-Parris Campbell (25), OL-Matt Pryor (27), OT-Dennis Kelly (32), DE-Yannick Ngakoue (27), DE-Ben Banogu (26), DL-Tyquan Lewis (27), LB-Bobby Okereke (26), E.J. Speed (27), CB-Brandon Facyson (28), S-Rodney McLeod (32), K-Chase McLaughlin (26).
And with the trade deadline passing, here’s a current look at the Colts draft picks for 2023: Round 1-15, Round 2-47, *Round 2 or 3 from Washington, Round 4-117, Round 5-152, Round 5/6 from Buffalo, Round 6-191, Round 7-233, *Will also gain either Washington’s 2nd rounder (No. 49) or 3rd round (No. 80).
The Colts have 9 games to go in the 2022 season: at Patriots, at Raiders, Eagles, Steelers (Monday night), at Cowboys, at Vikings, Chargers, at Giants, Texans.