Once the end of July-early August hits, the Colts will be heading to Anderson for this years training camp. Ryan Grigson, Jim Irsay, Chuck Pagano, and Jimmy Raye III all helped made significant upgrades to the roster for the upcoming season.
The Colts front office was determined to bring in competition for almost every starting spot on the team, and they certainly did that. Below, check out the names on the hot seat when we reach Anderson a few months down the road.
It sounds like Mr. Irrelevant, Justice Cunningham was the star of rookie minicamp. He flashed the ability to be maybe the best blocking tight end on the team and even showed he is capable of being a reliable receiver. This leaves Saunders in a bad position come training camp.
Weslye was rarely used last season, even when Coby Fleener went down with an injury. If Cunningham can continue to show he has reliable hands for Andrew Luck, then there should not be a way that he does not supplant Saunders on the 53 man roster. Safe to say, if Saunders does not have a flawless camp, then he will be cut.
Ricardo Mathews, Martin Tevaseu, and Drake Nevis
By drafting Montori Hughes, these three become expendable. Hughes was being used at the 3-4 defensive end spot most of the time at rookie minicamp. Hughes also rotated in at nose tackle too last weekend. Mathews was used last year as a starter when Cory Redding went down with an injury last year. Tevaseu and Nevis were both in rotational roles last season. These three are mediocre, but Hughes could be a future starter.
Getting Hughes, Ricky Jean Francois, and Aubrayo Franklin along the defensive line means this trio is pretty much gone off the 53 man roster. One of them could still be placed on the practice squad, but with the young talent they added makes that unlikely as well.
Mike McGlynn and Joe Reitz
Drafting Khaled Holmes and Hugh Thornton in the third and fourth round put these two immediately on thin ice. Holmes could play guard, but looks like he will be playing center (started at center during rookie minicamp). Thornton played right guard throughout camp, which is Mike McGlynn's spot.
You do not draft offensive lineman that high to rot on the bench for many years, you draft them to play right away. It sounds like Holmes and Thornton will both be doing that early on, meaning Reitz and McGlynn are in trouble. Likely only one would be released, but the question is who? Reitz and McGlynn could both be backups, but for money purposes could be gone. If one or both has a terrible camp, watch out for them getting the pink slip.
Donald Brown and Delone Carter
It will be one or the other possibly gone if Kerwynn Williams can show he can be a good running back along with his return abilities. Williams was the main returner throughout rookie minicamp and also played running back. I have been high on the Williams pick due to him bringing possibly a new wrinkle to the offense on third down. Kerwynn could be the team's Darren Sproles.
Usually, teams only keep three running backs on the roster. That means if Williams outperforms Brown, Carter, or both one could be gone. Brown does not really fit Pep Hamilton's offense at all, while Carter is only used in goal-line situations. Keep an eye out on this situation if Williams shines in Anderson.
Sheldon Price and Daxton Swanson both did well at rookie minicamp. It is unlikely but if one or both of the rookies outplay him, Cassius Vaughn could be cut loose. Vaughn played the number two spot over Darius Butler most of the season last year, before he was replaced by him late in the year. Now with Greg Toler, Butler, and possibly even Price and Swanson he might be on the hot seat.
Vaughn struggled in one-on-one coverage a lot last year. He was a pest to Colts fans due to his poor ability to cover as well. Fans might rejoice him getting cut, but it is unlikely. The Colts need as much depth as possible at the cornerback spot and Vaughn provides that.
This also is another unlikely scenario, but it could happen. It is well known now that Matt Hasselbeck is the backup to Luck. Harnish is the third string quarterback, so the question is if the Colts will keep three on the 53 man roster. There is a lot of talent on defense, and that could force Grigson and Pagano to release Harnish. He would likely be picked back up right away and put on the practice squad.
If he is kept, Harnish would learn a lot from a veteran like Hasselbeck. Teams could be all over Chandler if he hits the waiver wire. If I was a betting man, I would say this has a low chance of happening but always keep your options out there.
Griff Whalen and Jabin Sambrano
This will be one of the more underrated battles at training camp. This will decide who will be the fifth wide receiver on the 53 man roster. Both are young and likely one would be put on the practice squad immediately after they are released. Whalen would be a good slot receiver, while Sambrano would be a good deep threat on Hail Mary-like packages.
Whoever wins this spot could be a key to the Colts offense this year. Whalen could fill the role Austin Collie left, while Sambrano could eventually replace Reggie Wayne as the number one wide out (I know it is a long shot). Both fit the West Coast Offense in specific packages. This should be one of the best battles for a roster spot in training camp, so keep your eye on this match-up.
Come August, all Colts fans' eyes will be on Anderson University to see how these camp battles play out. Who will be getting the pink slip during training camp?