The Indianapolis Colts made official tonight what had been known for a while - they announced that they have agreed to terms with wide receiver Duron Carter.
Carter, the son of NFL Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter, spent the last two seasons in the Canadian Football League and was heavily sought after by NFL teams since the conclusion of the CFL season. The Colts were always viewed as one of the most interested teams, and it makes sense for Carter to choose Indy as well, given their franchise stability, their strong veteran leadership and their dynamic passing offense led by quarterback Andrew Luck.
Colts fans are very excited about the move and optimistic about Carter's potential, but it's not just the fans who are upbeat. It has been clear for a while that the Colts really liked Duron Carter. And according to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, the Colts view Carter as a starting NFL wide receiver who could be the replacement for Reggie Wayne.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>They were always the leader to land Carter, since back in Nov. Look at him as a starting WR. Could replace Reggie Wayne</p>— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) <a href="https://twitter.com/JasonLaCanfora/status/562398948456153089">February 2, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Of course, these are very high expectations for a guy transitioning from the CFL to the NFL, but the Colts see the talent that Carter has and they see the size (he's 6-5, 205 pounds) and it's hard not to like it. But a starting wide receiver? That will take work. The Colts obviously think that he can get there, and talent-wise, it's understandable.
Carter's exact role in the Colts' offense in 2015 is yet to be determined. The Colts have young receivers in T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief who both have plenty of potential as playmakers, but outside of those two are question marks. Reggie Wayne and Hakeem Nicks are both free agents, and Wayne is considering whether to retire or return. Carter's immediate role in the offense will likely be determined by some of those other moves. What this signing does mean is that I think the Colts will further address the position through free agency and not the draft. T.Y. Hilton is the team's number one receiver and is 25-years old, while Donte Moncrief is 21-years old and Duron Carter is 23-years old. What the Colts don't need is another talented yet inexperienced player at the wide receiver position. Rather, what they need is a veteran who can come in and play right away to take a little bit of the pressure off of Moncrief and Carter to allow them to continue to develop.
In other words, the Colts have a very young and talented group of wide receivers right now, but they need to complement that by a veteran or two. Whether or not those players are Reggie Wayne and/or Hakeem Nicks is yet to be determined, but those could be moves that dictate how much Carter will factor into the offense this year. What is clear, though, is that the Colts really like the young CFL product and view him as an eventual starting wide receiver in the NFL.