This is arguably the most important offseason for the future of this franchise and we have already talked at length about players we would love to see the Colts acquire through FA or draft. So, in an effort to get some fresh discourse going, I wanted to take a look at the Colts' offseason from a different perspective. And while there is some truth to the notion that these types of discussions are merely futile speculations at best until FA in underway, I still think it's fun to speculate all types of scenarios and strategies. And, honestly, I really hate that type of thinking because it's why we are all here in the first place.
So, in an effort to appease the masses, I think something that we CAN and SHOULD discuss is what moves we do NOT want the Colts to do this offseason, whether it be a particular FA or position/player in the draft (and the first person who mentions starting QB gets a timeout with Deywalka) Anyways, I will get the conversation going. Below is a list of moves or strategies that I would not like to see the Colts make:
1) Sign Paul Kruger, OLB to a $9+ million/year contract - This will probably not be a popular opinion, but I have never been a huge fan of signing Kruger, though I respect how much sense it could make for the Colts. But, having won the Super Bowl and performed well during the playoffs, he is about to get overpaid big time. It happens every year with FA from Super Bowl winning teams, and I don't think Kruger will be any different. Unless the Colts can get him for a reasonable price, which won't happen, I just don't think he is the type of "special" talent that you invest that much cap space. So signing him to such a deal would be nothing more than a reactionary move that could hurt the Colts' ability to improve other positions, now and in the future.
2) Sign Cary Williams, CB - I have been outspokenly adamant against signing Williams. In addition to being just an average talent, the guy is a dirty player and has been coached up. But, worst of all, he will be another BAL FA, just like Kruger, who will get overpaid, except his talent level pales in comparison to Kruger. He's already reportedly turned down $5-6 million/year from BAL, so I feel bad for whatever special kind of sucker overpays for him.
3) Sign Kenny Phillips, S - Phillips comes from a long line of MIA safeties who have played in the NFL. While Phillips is a talented with good size who can play centerfield, he also suffers from chronic knee issues, finishing up on IR this year. If the Colts were to sign him, the Colts would have have to structure the deal to be low-risk/high-reward and draft a S with an early pick. So with so many options on the FA market and in the draft, I would like to see the Colts go a different way.
4) Re-sign Jerraud Powers, CB - He is injury-prone and unreliable and struggled in the new defense. Even still, he will command more than I would ever be comfortable paying.
5) Re-sign Donnie Avery, WR - Undersized speed WR with bad hands. The Colts already have a much more talented version on the roster in Hilton. I think the Colts and Avery will shake hands and part ways amicably, as both parties got what they wanted last season (Hilton rebuilt his value and the Colts got cheap production). Then the Colts will use that roster spot for a big WR who is more suited to a WCO, either through FA or in the draft.
6) On some more generalized strategies, I do not want to see the Colts NOT sign a CB, S, a DE/DT and 2 OL.
1) Draft an OL (not named Warmack, Joeckel, Fisher or Johnson) at pick 24 - This will also likely be an unpopular opinion, but the remaining all have too many questions and uncertainties regarding their values. Cooper might not be an ideal fit to a power man-blocking scheme. Warford and Jones are 2nd round prospects and Fluker would require a position change. The value is just not there. In order to overcome the positional value hit of drafting an OG at pick 24, they have to be sure things, but outside of Warmack they aren't. The OL should be addressed through FA (though if IND trades back, the situation obviously changes as these prospects become better value picks).
2) Draft a NT (2-down player) with 1st pick (regardless of where that pick is) - There are some good prospects at the NT position in this draft, but with only two "high" draft picks, there are positions that need to be addressed well before NT, considering the Colts were able to get by with Mookie last year and still have to see what Chapman can do healthy. Like RB, I think this is a position that the Colts can afford to wait a year on. Sign a vet NT to pair with Chapman this year and assess the situation after the season when you know more.
3) Draft a RB before the 6th round - Unless Grigson wants to buy a lottery ticket and draft Lattimore in round 4, I do not see any reason to draft a RB, outside of a late-round speed back. The Colts have drafted mid-round RB the last two years and only have a below average run game and RB corp to show for it. Drafting one a 3rd year in a row will not change that. The Colts need to sign a FA RB to pair with Ballard and use the rest of their resources to fix other holes on the roster. Then next season, the Colts will have the flexibility to draft the stud RB prospect that Pep wants for his offense.