Not long after the PFT story broke, Anderson himself tweeted:
Yup! Yup! I'm on my way to Indy!!!!
How yall find out so fast??
Anderson, a 6'6, 289 pound defensive end, was drafted with the seventh overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons. But, in four seasons in Hotlanta, Anderson had just 4.5 sacks. When you are a top ten pick, a 1.1 yearly sack average is what we 'experts' call 'bust.'
Atlanta's football operations chief Ted Dimitroff seemed to agree with that label, and Anderson was let go last week in a roster purge. Anderson was the last draft pick of the Rich McKay era before Dimitroff came in from New England to run the football operations. McKay has since stayed on board in Atlanta as President of the Falcons, but he does not have control over the roster.
As Gregg Rosenthal of PFT stated so eloquently in the article linked above (yes, I'm kissing your ass here, Gregg) the Colts don't usually delve into free agency looking for flashy names. This off-season, that statement has proven annoyingly true. However, they aren't necessarily above digging through the trash pile looking for values.
Pro Football Focus (the site everyone hated earlier today because they wrote an article saying the Colts truly blew it during this rare period of free agency) tweeted this after the Anderson signing broke:
interesting to see Colts pick up Jamaal Anderson. Use him like they did with Brock/Dawson, better player. #6 ranked DE versus run in 2010
At 289 pounds, he could be a good DE on run downs and, possibly, move to DT on pass downs. The knock on Anderson is that, for a DE, he doesn't have much speed around the edge. However, he ranks pretty solid at the point of attack, bringing down running backs.
Several people on Twitter have been asking me, 'Why sign a DE?' Well, the answer is that after Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis, there isn't much else. Unless we see Jerry Hughes actually do something in a real game, we cannot assume he will develop into anything close to a reliable DE. After him, it's Eric Foster or John Chick. Neither gets me excited.
So, it makes sense to take a shot at Anderson. He might turn into the player he was supposed to be. Or, he might bust. Low risk, high reward move not unlike the Patriots trading for Albert Haynesworth.
Dare I say it? That is an off-season move I actually LIKE!
It doesn't solve the obvious issues at the DT spot, the hole at safety, or the lack of quality players on the offensive line, but it is a solid move. More moves like this would be appreciated, Chris Polian.