We are all well aware that the Colts don't dabble in free agency very often, which is a good thing for the most part. When they do it's usually for something that is a dire need as evidenced by the signing of LB Adam Seward. But of course there is always the fans perspective, and I am a fan, so I like to scroll through the current list of free agents and ponder whether or not they could help the Colts out. More often than not there's something that would prevent such a signing to happen whether it be money, roster space, the guy is retarded but has great athletic ability, etc. But that's not why I'm here writing this article. I'm here to discuss some pipe dreams! That's one of the best (while simultaneously being the worst) parts about being a fan, the "what ifs." What if the Colts signed T.J. Housh? What if the Colts picked up Derrick Ward? You get the point. So without further ado, let the dreaming begin!
It's no mystery that there are some concerns surrounding the running back position, specifically how the depth chart is going to look. Who will be the backup? Will the Colts draft anyone? Who knows, I sure don't. With the recent re-signing of Lance Ball, one would think he is going to be given a good shot at moving into the backup role. From what we've seen of his college career and the week 17 game against the Titans last season, he has a lot of potential and has a good complimentary running style to Joseph Addai. As much as I would like to believe Ball could be the answer, we shouldn't just settle if we don't have to. A good running back competition couldn't hurt. People are claiming this year's running back crop isn't that great, especially compared to last year, but I couldn't disagree more. That's just some nonsense experts like Kiper, Mayock, and that other nerd at ESPN whose name eludes me says. That type rhetoric is a constant year in and out about certain positions, and this season the running backs and defensive tackles are the goats. Don't believe the babble because there is plenty of talent just waiting in the wings. But since this isn't an article about the draft, let's move on.
Another running back currently on the roster is fan favorite Mike Hart. Let me say up front that I really felt bad for the guy when he tore his ACL. He sure showed a lot of promise with the limited carries he received in pre-season and the Baltimore game. I would be much more confident going into the 2009 season without Dominic Rhodes if Hart wasn't in rehab right now. But that's the way the cookie crumbles. No one is quite sure how he is going to recover (if he recovers fully) from that ACL injury, so the wise move here would be to keep him on the back burner and let him get fully healthy until giving him another shot. He's a 6th round pick so it's not like he is costing the Colts a ton of cash.
And then there's Chad Simpson. Nothing about this guy makes me want to see him in a Colts uniform anymore. He was ok as a returner, and seemed to have a fumble problem at the worst possible times (SD playoff game ring a bell?). His running abilities were equally meh. He isn't a power back, nor is he a super fast elusive back, he's basically just depth at this point; a completely disposable commodity.
At the beginning of the free agency period, there were plenty of names out there that would have been interesting pickups. Names such as Darren Sproles, Fred Taylor, Derrick Ward, Deuce McAllister, Brandon Jacobs, and Correll Buckhalter. The only name that really stood out to me (and with the guidance of MasterRWayne) was Derrick Ward. But as you are all aware, he signed with the Bucs. Everyone else except Deuce has signed with a team, so that leaves us with no one really. Deuce isn't the type of running back that would fit well in the Colts system, and those multiple knee surgeries he had are going to catch up with him sooner than later.
So then, that was quite painless wasn't it? Going into this I hadn't anticipated the horrible outcome, but this year's list of free agent running backs wasn't exactly loaded with talent. Nevertheless, next time I promise the content will be a little more fulfilling. Which position I attack next time will be a mystery so stay tuned! I'll be back.
If you have your own pipe dreams of any current free agent running back, post 'em here!