Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
NFL media are starting to chirp that the Colts plan to target Paul Kruger, Ed Reed, and Cary Williams when the free agent signing period begins.
NFL media can sometimes act as an echo chamber, a place where one person who covers a team says something (on TV, Facebook, Twitter, whatever) and then four or five others begin to chirp it around the Internets. Suddenly, one statement starts developing into a substantial rumor.
For me, I've felt that the whole "Ed Reed and Paul Kruger will sign with the Colts" stuff was simply fans taking two logical connecting points, putting them together, and spouting out the results as if it is preordained. Reed and Kruger are free agents. They once worked with current Colts head coach Chuck Pagano back when he was an assistant with the Baltimore Ravens. Clearly, this means the Colts will dedicate some of the roughly $43 million in off-season cap space to signing Kruger and Reed.
Up until now, I simply thought this line of thinking was too obvious. Players go where the money is best, not necessarily to a coach or team they like. Also, just because Pagano worked with them in Baltimore does not mean Pagano's boss, Colts G.M. Ryan Grigson, is keen on signing them.
However, I must now admit that my opinion is changing somewhat based on what a few folks in the traditional media are saying. Keep in mind, this isn't an echo chamber. These are people who have their own sources, their own back channels. Interestingly, they are coming to similar conclusions:
From what I understand, the dots are being connected on Paul Kruger & Ed Reed going to Indianapolis. But that's due to ties with Pagano.— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) February 25, 2013
@coltsfanwilson was talking to Ravens beat guy who is a friend of mine. He fully expects colts to go after reed, Krueger and Williams.— Tom James (@TribStarTJames) February 28, 2013
I personally do not know Omar Kelly, reporter for the South Florida Sun Sentinel. SB Nation's Jaguars blog has been known to get into some pretty nasty Twitter fights with him. Kelly is also the guy who recently confused often-troubled Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant with often-troubled Raiders defensive tackle Desmond Bryant when Desmond was arrest for a DUI.
By the way, Desmond Bryant's mug shot is hi-friggin-larious!
However, Kelley has been covering the Dolphins for the Sun Sentinel since 2007. He's also worked at the Detroit Free Press and the Palm Beach Post. Bottom line, he's worked for a while.
Tom James of the Terre Haute Tribune Star is a genuinely cool dude who has often engaged us and other Stampede Blue contributors on Twitter and in emails. He's been in the business for a while, and when he says that people are telling him that the Colts will target Reed, Kruger, and fellow Ravens free agent Cary Williams, my ears perk up.
Maybe there's something really to this.
All this talk comes at a time where own own Nick Ragsdale is asking Colts players like Reggie Wayne and Antoine Bethea if Ed Reed will come to Indy. In Bethea's case, his response was, to me, telling. Here's a section from Nick's article about his experience meeting Antoine Bethea at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine and asking him about potential Colts free agents:
I told him how Colts fans are excited about all the cap space this season and how it appears that they will be spenders in free agency. "Play GM for a second and tell me who you would sign on defense."
"You don't have to give me name. What position would you go for?"
He smiled. "Well, first, let me give you the political answer and say 'whoever can help us win'. If I was going to give you a name... I don't know. I love Ed Reed."
I smiled because I want the Colts to sign Ed Reed. "I talked to Reggie Wayne about him yesterday," I said. "Don't you guys play the same position? Would you slide over if they signed him?"
Bethea smiled again and said, "Man, I play SAFETY. I'll slide over, play in the box, whatever. Whatever it takes. I'll let Ed Reed do his thing."
Maybe we're reaching a point where if the Colts do NOT sign reed, Kruger, or Williams people will be surprised.