Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, the old ole days. When free agency was a period of excitement that those "other teams" got worked up over. Remember those days? When people actually said that signing ANY free agent was WRONG!
"Great teams aren't built through free agency."
"It's all done through the draft."
"Why overpay for someone else's crap?"
That was then. Today, as of this writing, the Indianapolis Colts have signed nine unrestricted free agents, along with two other players (Pat McAfee and Darius Butler) who were UFAs but played for the Colts franchise in 2012.
Quick note on McAfee, he's been given the franchise tag, but it's assumed by all he will sign and be with the Colts in 2013.
Nine new players. NINE!
Let's do a rundown, shall we?
- SS LaRon Landry was signed to a 4-year, $24 million deal. He's a projected starter.
- RT Gosder Cherilus was signed to a 5-year, $34.5 million deal. He's a projected starter.
- OG Donald Thomas was signed to a 4-year, $14 million deal. He's a projected starter.
- DE-NT Ricky Jean Francois was signed to a 4-year, $22 million deal. He's a projected starter.
- OLB Erik Walden was signed to a 4-year, $16 million deal. He's a projected starter.
- CB Greg Toler was signed to a 3-year, $15 million deal. He's a projected starter.
- NT Aubrayo Franklin was signed to a deal, no details as yet. He's a rotational player-potential starter.
- DE-OLB Lawrence Sidbury was signed to a one-year, $715,000 deal. He's a rotational player.
- QB Matt Hasselbeck was signed to a reported 2-year, $8 million deal. He's a back-up.
Nine players. Six were signed and, basically, handed starting job. Two are rotational players who might start. The final one is a veteran back-up quarterback.
Folks, that IS building a roster via free agency.
In fact, of the projected starters on the offensive line for 2013, three of them are free agents, including 2012 free agent Samson Satele. On defense, the entire secondary if compromised of free agents, with only 2006 sixth round pick Antoine Bethea as the exception. Vontae Davis (trade in 2012), Darius Butler (originally signed as a free agent in 2012), Greg Toler (2013), and LaRon Landry (2013) were not drafted by the Colts. Reserve corner Cassius Vaughn was acquired via a trade with Denver in 2012.
Along the front seven, projected starters Cory Redding (signed in 2012), Brandon McKinney (2012), Ricky Jean Francois (2013), Jerrell Freeman (2012), and Erik Walden (2013) are all free agent acquisitions.
Of the 11 projected starters on defense, only two (Antoine Bethea and Robert Mathis) were drafted by the Indianapolis Colts.
Kindly allow time for that to sink in, and, after it does, if you were a person who screamed that teams are never built through free agency, you better root against the Colts in 2013. Because, if they win, I will find you and make fun of you in front of your mother.