After a busy day one of free agency in which the Colts signed notable veterans such as Frank Gore and Trent Cole, they followed that up by signing veteran wide receiver Andre Johnson. Earlier today we took a look at how Gore and Cole fit in with the Colts, and now we'll examine how Johnson fits in with the team and grade the move.
Andre Johnson (3 years, $21 million)
What are my favorite types of signings in the NFL? When a team thinks a certain player is finished, so they decided to part ways with that player, then the player finds a new home and starts dominating. I get the feeling that could happen with Andre Johnson in Indianapolis, especially considering the fact that he's staying in the same division and playing against Houston twice a year.
More importantly, this signing fills a hole behind TY Hilton. Some would argue that Donte Moncrief is ready for the #2 receiver spot, but I do not think that that is a role he can handle right now. The Colts need a veteran presence to not only take some of the burden off Moncrief, but to become a reliable pass catcher. Not to say that Moncrief isn't reliable, but Andre Johnson has been one of the most consistent receivers in the NFL and for those who remember my article back in September, his consistency percentages that we calculated were somewhat similar to Wayne's.
Johnson could very well end up in the Hall of Fame when it's all said and done, but are his best years behind him? They definitely are, but that doesn't mean he can't be productive with the Colts. With Ryan Fitzpatrick as his quarterback, he fell 15 yards short of the 1000 yard mark and would have reached it had he played a full 16 game season (he missed 1 game). Johnson still has something left in the tank. He's been averaging 102 receptions over the past three seasons and gets a healthy amount of targets each game. He'll be 34 next season, and although that may seem old to some, Reggie Wayne had his 106 catch, 1355 yard campaign at age 34.
Johnson fills a gap behind TY Hilton and brings a veteran presence in the locker room that the Colts need with Wayne gone.