I've heard a lot of people complain that there is too much optimism on this blog. "Where's the honest criticism?" cry the commenters, "Where's the "glass half empty" mentality?"
Well, have no fear, for I, PowerO, am here to deflate your free agency hopes and dreams. Sure, I could just sit back and wait for the offseason to be over, at which point our FA dreams will all be crushed in one fell swoop, but I think it's healthier for us to experience these feelings of loss and hopelessness in controlled dosages. Here is why the guy you really want the Colts to sign is not going to be signed by the Colts.
Let's start with the obvious:
Jairus Byrd: Helluva player, this guy. Probably the best safety in the league not named Earl Thomas. I would love it if he came here and played for us the way he's played for Buffalo. But that's probably not going to happen.
Reason #1: Buffalo sucks and Byrd doesn't. It's a match made in franchise-tag heaven!
Reason #2: Byrd reportedly wants to want to be the highest paid safety in the NFL. That's not a bad thing in and of itself, but it does suggest that Byrd cares more about the money than he cares about winning. If he was available (see reason #1) and the Colts were willing to shell out a lot of cap space to get him, it probably means he'd be getting quite a bit of guaranteed money.
Then again, when has giving lots of guaranteed money to a well regarded safety ever affected his effort? I sure can't think of any instances.
Reason #3: Antoine Bethea. Yeah, letting Bethea go makes sense given his play last year, and it makes even more sense if Jairus Byrd actually hits the market (I refer you again to reason #1) but Bethea still seems like a viable option at safety for the Colts. Keeping Bethea and not taking out a second mortgage to get Byrd would allow the Colts to spend big money on another big name. Which brings me to my next player...
Reason #1: Although the offensive line was terrible this year, Donald Thomas and Dwayne Allen are coming back, which should help tremendously (I actually think Dwayne Allen being out for the season was more significant than Reggie Wayne being out for the season.) Although center is still a need, the offensive line itself is likely to improve anyways, making Le Big Investment on Le Big Mack less necessary.
Reason #2: We already have a developing young center in Khaled Holmes. Signing an expensive FA when we still don't know what we have in our recently drafted center doesn't make dollars. And if it don't make dollars, it don't make sense. Personally, I liked Brad's idea of signing a decent veteran center to a one year deal. That guy could tutor Holmes and let him mature until we know exactly how good he will end up being.
Reason #3: The Browns suck too, and they very well may bring in a rookie quarterback this year. That's not an ideal time to tell one of your best linemen to take a hike. Mack will likely be resigned, though not tagged.
Lamarr Houston: Good player, underrated. He would be a more than solid addition to our struggling defensive line. Honestly, out of any of these players, Houston is the most affordable and the most likely to be signed. Which just makes it even harder to tell you guys why he won't be coming to Indy this year.
Reasons #1-5: Oakland is terrible and rich. Seriously, everything is a position of need for them except kicker and fullback. (By the way Oakland, if your fullback is a better running back than your running back, why do you even have a running back?) They need all the talent they can get, and they have enough cap-space to bring in a shitload of it. Letting Houston go makes neither dollars nor sense for the Raiders.
Then again, this is the Raiders we're talking about here. For all we know, they're planning on trading up for the first overall pick in order to take Derek Carr.
Eric Decker: Oh man, do I hope this doesn't happen, and I know that most of you guys feel the same way. But since this is a pessimistic post, I'm going to list the reasons the Colts could sign Eric Decker.
Reason #1: The Colts "need" a wide receiver. Because hey, it's not like we have a young star, a veteran returning from injury, one of the best tight end duos in the league, and three young players that show great promise. This is Indianapolis dammit, there's no such thing as "enough wideouts." We need a wide receiver with decent speed and indecent hands, and Decker fits the bill pretty much perfectly.
Reason #2: Decker is reportedly "interested" in being a Colt, because he wants to play for another elite quarterback. And can you blame him for being choosy? This is five time All Pro, three time superbowl MVP Eric Decker we're talking about here! There are maybe five quarterbacks in the NFL worthy of throwing a ball to him, and we are fortunate enough to have one of them. The FO can't afford to pass up this golden/orange opportunity!
Thanks for the read guys, and don't get too worked up, this was half a troll post and there is a decent chance that we could actually sign one of the guys on this list (hopefully not Decker.) I just wanted us all to recognize that there are some good reasons for the FO not to sign these guys, assuming they all actually hit the market.