This includes the 53 man roster and 8 practice squad positions. As I have no idea who will be getting cut from the other rosters, I can't foresee what will be available at which position that might prompt these choices to change. When I feel it is appropriate I will explain my choices and indicate who may be dropped early in the season, or when someone else on the roster gets healthy.
If I were the GM for the Colts, I would keep Painter because we can't afford to lose him by cutting him and we can't afford three roster spots for the back-up to one of the most reliable quarterbacks in the league. I would make a proposal to Jim Sorgi. Sorgi clearly will not be playing regular snaps for any team in the NFL at any point in his career. While he would probably be snatched up by someone who wished to pick his brain for information about the Colts offense, he provides no team with a back-up QB option worthy of retaining long-term. Accordingly, Sorgi stands to lose A LOT if he is cut outright and it would behoove him to consider his long-term future. The front office should offer Sorgi a contract on the team as an Assistant QB Coach, keeping him in the NFL, giving him the opportunity to make a long career at what he does best (clip-board holding, game analyzing, the cerebral aspects of the game). It may be in his best interest to retire before taking on this role, allowing him to come out of retirement, should something terrible happen. Out of the ordinary? You bet. Best option? In my humble opinion, it is.
Lance Ball is still practice squad eligible, should clear waivers, and provides plenty of protection for our RBs in that role. He MAY be retained for a week or two while Hart fully recovers from his ankle injury. However, I got the feeling that Hart could have played against the Bengals but the front office held him out in order to give him extra time to heal, which would make such a move unnecessary. Management will look closely at the status of his injury this weekend before making a final call but this is the move I'd make. Even if it was a risk to start the season.
I believe Taj Smith will be on the roster but I don't think it will be until Tom Santi gets healthy or is moved to the IR. As soon as Santi returns, Robinson is released and Smith is activated from the practice squad. If Santi moves to the IR, same thing. Otherwise, he waits.
Let's face it, Robinson is a great guy and works hard but does not have the tools to be what we're looking for in a TE. Santi is the superior player in all aspects of the game and simply needs to get and stay healthy to give us the ultimate TE rotation available. Santi will likely be out to start the season, however, and while Robinson has not been impressive blocking in games this preseason, he is clearly superior to Tamme at this point (in that role). I would retain him, predict he will be retained, until Santi returns.
This roster would provide you with the ultimate depth and talent based on preseason play. All four of the back-ups can play on the inside of the line. Ugoh can back-up LT. Federkeil and Ugoh can back up RT. In terms of efficiency at the position, and retaining only the best players available from preseason play, this is as good as it gets. The offensive line is ripe for potential movement via the waiver wire. Richard and Federkeil would be the first two in line to be released should the Colts acquire someone new.
Matt Giordano's spot on the roster could be in jeopardy upon the healthy return of the Predator. I could even see him not making the roster, but it would seem that a fairly decent argument could be made that he is needed because Sanders' health is so tenuous and he is a solid special teams contributor. Keep in mind, however, that Marlin Jackson is capable of moving over to the S position if needed in an emergency.
I am sorry folks but Jacob Lacey has played his way onto the roster in my eyes. Coyer requires more man-to-man coverage assignments than the Colts used under Dungy/Meeks. The best man-to-man coverage defensive back so far has been Jacob Lacey. Jerraud Powers would likely be second in that department. Two young CBs, one a surprising undrafted free agent, doesn't seem like too much of a reach to me.
Mike Tauiliili has shown flashes of greatness over the preseason. It's very difficult for me to clearly differentiate between Humber and Tauiliili after four games. That said, when it mattered most (last look), it seemed like Humber came to play and he might win the spot. Either way, I hope that the Colts front office agrees with what the rest of us saw so clearly, both of these players are better than Keiaho right now. In fact, Tauiliili could surprise by taking a spot from Senn or Hagler. I keep only one of the two, retaining a bit more experience in the system than two of three rookie back-ups would offer. I wish I had Seward here, as I think he would be the best back-up Mike of the LBs in preseason.
I would keep the pure DEs to just four. Brock and Freeney start, per last year, Mathis coming in on passing downs. Howard as the back-up pass-rush specialist. I really wish I could have CuJo here, as he would have had a spot on my roster. Alas, he is not so we will just have to move on. Brock and Foster are your two flex options DE/DT.
Terrance Taylor is on this roster only because I think we have the room, while covering all of our other needs. It seems within reason that when Ed Johnson returns, one of our DTs would be in-line for a potential release. The front-runner tentatively would be Daniel Muir. Which means, all of those people who were shocked that I would suggest putting Taylor on the PS have nothing to fear. Still, I would not hesitate to put Taylor on the PS if we wanted to add someone from waivers who could help us out elsewhere. He'd be in the top 3 on my list of players who I would waive and attempt to PS in order to clear roster space for a player on waivers.
I could see Pestock, Key, and Giguere being immediately vulnerable for removal from this list due to waiver acquisitions, replaced by players who are listed in the roster above. Smith, Tauiliili, and Ball top my list of players who could be brought up from the practice squad the quickest to spell replace players who are currently only on the roster due to an injury concern at one of the positions.
I would like to see the Colts address OT through waivers, moving Richard to the PS. I would also like to see the Colts address QB, CB, and LB after players clear waivers to put on the practice squad.
This is my dream world. Thoughts?