With the free agency period having slowed down significantly and the process now in the second wave of signings, much of the conversation has shifted from which players teams might still go after to how those players that the teams did sign will do this year.
The Colts were certainly active during the first week of free agency. They added offensive lineman Todd Herremans, pass rusher Trent Cole, defensive lineman Kendall Langford, wide receiver Andre Johnson, and running back Frank Gore. Even just today, then the Colts added inside linebacker Nate Irving for depth.
Because of the Colts' moves in free agency so far, many have wondered whether the team is finally ready to take that last big hurdle to get to the Super Bowl. After all, they did get to the AFC Championship game last year, but they lost 45-7 in that game. Are they really a true contender based on the moves that they've made? So far, most say yes.
In his post-free agency power rankings, NFL.com's Elliot Harrison has the Colts at number four, behind just the Seahawks, Patriots, and Packers. The Cardinals (at number five) round out the top five on Harrison's list. Here's what he wrote about his fourth-ranked team, the Colts:
Man, if they were getting the 2009 versions of their free-agent signees, the Colts would be going 15-1. Of course, even if they aren't exactly in their prime, Frank Gore, Andre Johnson and Trent Cole should all help the team immensely. Let's make sure they have warm sweaters -- and pay no mind if they nap on the sideline. Actually, I'm all for signing older vets if they fill needs. The key here will be whether or not these guys can give GM Ryan Grigson full ROI, as in, a complete slate of games. That's the key with an older team. Gore will rush for around 800 yards and five touchdowns this year, which should be enough.
Of course, we know that the Colts got older because, one, they were super young last year (so it'd be hard to get younger), and two, they have a unique situation with their roster right now, and so the Colts did things exactly the way they needed to in free agency. And the players that Ryan Grigson signed have been very consistent in staying on the field, something that Harrison notes is key.
I think that number four is probably pretty fair for the Colts right now. They definitely look to be contenders, but they should still be ranked behind the Patriots until the Colts prove they can knock off New England. Certainly, though, the Colts do look much improved after their free agency moves so far.