There is about a week left before Free Agency. And, since the Franchise tagging has come to an end, it is time to join the fun on speculating FA & the draft. Colt fans everywhere are attempting to get used to Free Agency actually meaning something. Furthermore, this year is sure to be exciting given the cap room that the Colts have.
Free Agency starts the puzzle off. Who the Colts get in Free Agency will help to shape their draft board. Grigs might say he goes BPA, but there is a limit at doing that. He doesn’t blindly take the BPA. For example, if at pick 24 a QB is BPA… would he take the QB? No, that would probably start a "poke Grigs campaign 2.0." The draft board is designed off of broad sense need. To stick with an easy example, QB is not an area of need. Thus, there aren’t QBs on Grig's board. So, even if the NFL or analysts say a QB is BPA, Grigs board will say differently. His board is adaptable to what he wants/thinks. Nevertheless, there are a few more variables that come into play; like the expected marginal rate between a position and the next best at that position, but y’all get the point. Without further ado, onto Free Agents to sign.
FA to sign:
See my Dline post: http://www.stampedeblue.com/2013/2/26/4034282/a-look-into-dline-free-agents
- Glover Quinn (SS)
- Toler (CB)
- Jenkins (CB)
FA to reach out to:
- Louis Vasquez (OG)
- Chris Ivory (RB)
- Ed Reed (FS – move Bethea to SS)
- Justin Tryon (CB)
- Paul Kruger (OLB)
- Vollmer (OT)
- Bob Sanders 8 years younger (SS) – Ahhh we can dream about the good ole days at SS…
I am not going to get into the Dline and Oline, since I have previous post about each. As for OLB, both Butler and Barnes are low-risk high-reward guys. They are looking for an opportunity to move into a more sufficient role. And, the Colts are a high priority for this type of player. Guys that are looking for an opportunity to start know that the Colts have a lot of positions that are "up-for-grabs," and that the Colts were able to go 11-5 with major holes. This idea flows through to the Dbacks I am hoping for. Glover is on a team (Texans) that is about to re-lose the footing they had on the AFC South after only 2 years. They don’t want to tag him because they don’t think he is worth money. They know he is good, but not "that" good. However, on the Colts; he becomes an instant starter and fills a major priority.
As for Toler, he is ready to get on a contending team. He is a very aggressive CB and is 6' 194 lbs. Furthermore, he is 28 years old and is looking for an end-of-career contract. Arizona is having a major shake down with Arians becoming HC. And, there is only a slim chance the shake down will be as successful as the Colts. Thus, he could hypothetically come into the Colts camp as our #2 CB. To me, that is a very attractive offer for players that want to win over big pay checks. Same with Jenkins – but this match up has been hounded to the point we all know the positives and negatives.
The FA I think we should reach out are guys we either don’t need or might be too expensive. Whether we get the FA I think we should reach out to depends on the contract being demanded. I would love guys like Vasquez or Vollmer, but price/years plays a big role on if we should get them or not. So, to remain realistic, plan for the lesser and hope for better; thus, I think we’ll take Thomas, Schwartz, and Cherilus, but hope we take Vasquez and Vollmer.
- McAfee (P)
- Butler (CB)
- Vaughn (CB)
- Moala (DLine)
- Justice (OG/OT)
I started writing this before McAfee was tagged and Moala was resigned. But, nonetheless I am glad we got McAfee back. Moala I am ehh about, but he is good depth for a cheap price. Justice follows the same reasoning; he is cheap and is an okay player. Now, for the two questionable CBs I want retained. Vaughn and Butler are both serviceable CBs pending the SS we get. They are both route jumpers, but they need a FS over the top. Without that over the top help they suck. Their underneath play is at par with being solid. So, if we get a SS that is a ball hawking hitter, then Bethea can focus on covering; allowing for Vaughn and Butler to jump routes. They both should be cheap depth to add, and Pagano has made his name working with DBacks. I think we should keep them for camp to compete. If they don’t win a spot, I can’t say it’ll keep me up at night. But, they would be good depth to have, and allow us to focus money on other areas instead of building depth.
Next… Let’s throw darts at a board.
1 – Vaccaro (I wish) otherwise: Cyprien (SS) or Mingo (OLB)
3 – Aaron Dobson (WR)
4 –Darius Slay (CB)
6 – Jeff Baca (OT/OG)
Not quite how I imagined the draft after the season. But, five picks and a big Free Agency changes a lot. Our defense needs the first pick in this draft. Grabbing a new SS would shift our defense into a solid squad. I’ll explain more of that in my next fanpost about defense, but it would more-or-less allow for Bethea to not have to compensate for our lack of SS since Sanders. However, Vaccaro probably won’t be around by pick 24; and the next hard hitter on the list of Cyprien. However, this is where Grigs has to decide if Cyprien or Mingo is the BPA. My vote is Cyprien, but the Colts can’t go wrong with either.
Round 2 was used to get Vontae, so that leaves us at round 3 before another pick. Dobson was talked about briefly in a scouting post, so I won’t go into too many details. However, he is a piece of the puzzle that we are still looking for. He is a development receiver; nevertheless, he has some important intangibles. He is big, fast, and strong. He has great hands and ball awareness. He could develop under Reggie to become a monster. In reality, Dobson probably is not going to be able to get separation on an NFL defender. Thus, he is a possession receiver due to his hands and awareness. That is what Reggie is; and Reggie knows every trick in the book. Pairing Dobson up with Reggie to develop to an NFL level would mean in 2-3 years we have a true and big #1 Reggie-type WR.
Round four goes to Darius Slay. He is a bit under the radar, but his combine might shoot him up to the end of 3rd round. He is a good size man-to-man corner. His weaknesses are an area that Pagano specializes in. This guy has a lot of potential, and would fit the Colts defensive very well. 6th round linemen picks are typically a throw away pick. It is tough to develop 6th round linemen into starting caliber. Thus, Jeff Baca would be a developmental pick that could have a lot of potential. For the 7th round, it is worth just going BPA by that point.
To clarify, I do not think all of the above should make it to the final 53 man roster. But, I think this is the crew we should bring into training camp. I think the above will give us a minimum of average quality player for each position. This will drastically improve the Colts, and will help create a well rounded solid football team. Furthermore, impact players can play to that level because they have solid support around them. Impact players that have to compensate to cover other positions are considered average at best. The NFL is at a level that is too fast to have a player attempting to cover two jobs. Teams have to field a solid 11 guys on each side of the ball in order to be dominate. With the cap rules, and what not in place, it is impossible to have impact players at every position. Thus, the Colts need to solidify the foundation for those select impact players to make plays. Nonetheless, there is amazing potential for the up-and-coming season. Should be a great one for Colt Fans, and less so for who we play.