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2011 NFL Free Agents: Some Key Names Still Out There

The afternoon practice for the Colts is getting underway right now and and our own mgrex03 is there to cover it. While you are glued to Twitter, waiting for his updates, here's a quick list of NFL free agents still hanging around out there in the open market that could help the Colts. I'm linked a few quick profiles from Walter Football, who has an excellent free agent tracker section broken down by position.

Pat Williams, DT

Walter Football (Williams ranks 2.5 stars out of 4)

A two-down run-stuffer, Pat Williams still got it done this season despite playing at 38 years old. He'll try to help a contender.

For Walter Football, Williams is their highest rated DT still on the open market. From Stampede Blue:

Due to his 14 years in the league, Williams might just be wanting to hook up with a team and play a role, possibly as a back-up. What is looming over Williams, and the likely reason why no one has signed him, is the Star Caps case. I won't go into boring details, but it seems as if Williams will indeed be suspended when he signs with a team. The suspension will likely be four games, but it could be reduced.

Williams recently stated he would like to play two more seasons. The Vikings play a very similar defensive system to the Colts.

I still hold out hope the Colts will sign Williams. He is exactly what they need at the DT position in terms of quality depth in the rotation.

More free agents after the jump...

Darren Sharper, FS

Walter Football (Sharper ranks 1.5 stars out of 5)

Sharper is well-known to Colts fans. He was a star on the Saints defense two years ago that beat the Colts in Super Bowl XLIV. He played in just 8 games last year, starting only one, after having one of the best seasons of his career in 2009. He's 35-years-old, but he might have some juice left in the tank. In 2009, he had 9 INTs, returning 3 for TDs.

At 6'2, 210, he's big and athletic enough to play SS in the Tampa-2. Sharper is good as a depth player in case Melvin Bullitt's shoulder doesn't hold up. He's also a solid person and a great locker room guy.


Nick Kaczur, OT

Walter Football (Kaczur ranks 2 stars out of 5)

Nick Kaczur played well at right tackle for New England in 2009, but missed all of 2010 with a back injury. It's unclear if he can still be a starter in this league.

Kaczur is a very solid back-up tackle in the event Ryan Diem gets hurt. Ben Ijalana, the Colts second round pick, will likely play guard this year. I personally have very little faith in Mike Pollak. He might not make the final 53 man roster. A solid vet like Kaczur provides some insurance for the right side. He could also play guard at 6'4", 315 pounds. The key issue with him is his health.


Brian Waters, OG

Walter Football (Waters ranks 3 stars out of 4)

And so ends the Brian Waters era in Kansas City. Waters has been with the Chiefs since 2000, and at 34 years old, he can still play very well. I'm pretty shocked the Chiefs let him go.

It really is weird that Waters has not signed with anyone yet because, despite age catching up with him, he's still a very good guard. He's also well-respected within the locker room and is known for lots of community work.

He offers little versatility. Guard is pretty much the only position he can play. But, with Pollak a bust and the question marks surrounding the development of Jacques McClendon, depth at guard is critical. Guard has been the weak point on this o-line since Jake Scott walked away after the 2007 season. It got even worse when the Colts let Ryan Lilja walk after 2009.

Waters has only missed three games since 2001. At 6'3, 320 pounds, he's built similar to the rookie Ijalana. He'd be a great mentor for him, and would offer a bigger, more physical alternative to Kyle DeVan (whose a solid player for depth, not starting).