In precisely one month, the brand new league 12 months will formally arrive, and the Indianapolis Colts will enter the free-agent market hoping to handle some very severe wants in the course of the 2021 offseason.
With an abundance of salary-cap area—roughly $69 million projected—the Colts can go get any participant they need available on the market. They gained’t essentially do this with some large extensions arising, however the Colts will nonetheless have the power to spend in the event that they wish to.
When speaking about the very best match, it doesn’t at all times imply the best participant or the largest identify available on the market. The Colts shall be searching for free brokers who match their scheme and tradition, and that probably means lacking out on a few of the prime names.
With free company precisely a month away, listed below are the very best matches at every place for the Colts in 2021:
Greatest Match: Ryan Fitzpatrick
In fact, we might like to put Dak Prescott’s identify right here however how real looking is it that he would hit the market? If he does, the Colts needs to be all in. However Fitzpatrick is perhaps the following best choice if the Colts are searching for an affordable, veteran stop-gap whereas they groom a youthful quarterback—whether or not that be Jacob Eason or a rookie they draft in April.
Fitzpatrick has had a historical past of turning the ball over, however he would work nicely within the quick-hitting offense underneath Frank Reich. And he nonetheless has proven a knack for concentrating on large performs downfield. If the Colts need a stable veteran who has been round to groom a younger quarterback, it’s Fitzpatrick. He’s low cost and nonetheless productive sufficient to maintain the passing offense afloat.
Greatest Match: Curtis Samuel
Whereas names like Allen Robinson and Chris Godwin will get individuals all scorching and bothered, it’s exhausting to see the Colts spending extremely at extensive receiver. Chris Ballard has consistently talked about how a lot they like the present extensive receiver room and with cash wanted elsewhere, they might should go a bit cheaper.
Samuel gained’t be the most affordable possibility, however he is an ideal match for the offense. He has game-breaking velocity, can work in and out and can be utilized on end-arounds and jet sweeps. The Colts may discover a number of methods to get Samuel the ball and let him do harm after the catch.
Greatest Match: Jonnu Smith
Whereas the Colts have Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox needs to be anticipated to return, they nonetheless want so as to add a dynamic pass-catcher to the room. Smith has that in spades and may very well be a beautiful match as a transfer tight finish in Frank Reich’s system.
Although he has had an inconsistent profession with the Titans, Smith’s athleticism, velocity and measurement would enable him to thrive because the pass-catcher within the tight finish room. He has the velocity to beat linebackers and the scale to overpower safeties in protection. Smith is a free agent the Colts ought to goal closely.
Greatest Match: Joe Haeg
The Colts are probably going to should go low cost for now at left deal with whereas they signal some extensions. That’s okay. The Colts can nonetheless win with common left deal with play as they proved late within the 2020 season. With the quick-hitting passing sport and 4 different above-average-to-elite gamers on the road, the Colts can afford to go the cheaper route.
That’s why Haeg is an attention-grabbing possibility for Indy. He has the information of the system, the flexibility the Colts love and he shall be low cost. He might should battle with a rookie for a beginning function, however the Colts ought to have curiosity in reuniting with Haeg.
Greatest Match: Romeo Okwara
As a lot as I’d like to say Carl Lawson right here, we’ve got to be true to the method. Okwara higher matches the mould the Colts like of their edge rushers. He wins with energy and size on the sting, that are two issues Ballard seems to covet in relation to edge rushers.
Okwara had 61 complete pressures in 2020, which was tied for the fifth-most amongst all edge rushers. He additionally notched career-highs in sacks (10), tackles for loss (11) and quarterback hits (18). Okwara and Lawson needs to be two edge rushers the Colts pursue whereas the previous probably matches higher as a base defensive finish.
Greatest Match: Ahkello Witherspoon
One other participant who matches the profile for the Colts, Witherspoon has had an up-and-down profession with the 49ers. He’s flashed a few of the expertise that made him a sleeper prospect within the 2018 NFL draft nevertheless it has additionally include loads of rising pains.
With a necessity for a boundary nook, Witherspoon would instantly compete for a beginning function with out breaking the financial institution for the Colts. He’s younger sufficient at 25 years outdated to take an opportunity on and given his athleticism and size, he may very well be a robust asset as a press nook within the zone scheme underneath Matt Eberflus.