The Colts' biggest remaining need after the big moves in free agency is their safety position. While they could use help at other areas such as defensive line and linebacker, the Colts clearly need another safety. They re-signed Mike Adams, but the other starter very likely isn't even on the team yet. In short, they need to be looking for an upgrade at one of the starting spots, and that's exactly what they'll be doing moving forward in the offseason.
"We'll find somebody," head coach Chuck Pagano said at this week's league meetings. "Somebody will separate themselves from the pack, so to speak. There's still a couple bodies out there in free agency that you can look at and then the draft. Looking at the draft, there's some guys that are coming out in the draft that are going to be starting for somebody."
In other words, based on what Chuck Pagano said it sounds like the Colts will be actively looking for a safety, whether in free agency or in the draft. General manager Ryan Grigson talked specifically about free agency and whether the Colts might target that position still, as well as mentioning why the Colts didn't sign a safety already.
"There can be some perceived holes, but just to kind of clarify, it can't be Christmas every day," Grigson said. "So there's not a forever, endless river of cash flowing. We have a plan, we followed it. Say that safety is something that we went after. Well, if that's your number one need and you have player A and he gets above your ceiling of where you want to go financially, you've gotta cut it off and have the discipline to walk away and know you still have that hole, because if you just go screaming towards that one need, then you lose on player B, C, D, E, and F. So you can't have everything.
"It gets back to good old fashioned development and playing your youth, or waiting until another guy shakes free cap-wise, or a guy that's maybe out there for the minimum that you like. There are still guys out there we like. You know, you look at 2012 - we had to play some young guys, and guess what: they flat out played and they were productive. So sometimes they just need a chance. That's the thing - I think our coaches do a good job of not having a bias towards a young player because some places, no matter how a guy is practicing, no matter how a guy is performing day in and day out, there's a stigma on the young player and the vet's gonna play in front of him just because. So that's something that we have to be stewards of to make sure that doesn't happen."
Here are a few thoughts from Grigson's comments: one, it sounds like the Colts might have been interested in some free agent safeties (at least one) but that the price got higher than they wanted to pay. Instead, they opted not to overpay for a safety and sign guys like Andre Johnson, Frank Gore, Trent Cole, and Kendall Langford to address several needs. If that is indeed the case, then it's a welcome change from Grigson, as that's how you stop overpaying for people.
Two, it sounds like the Colts could still pursue a free agent safety in a similar fashion as they did last year with Mike Adams, who was a late free agent signing that came in the summer. There are still some intriguing free agent names out there for Indy such as Bernard Pollard, Dawan Landry (yes, LaRon's brother), and others, but it'll likely be a wait-and-see approach from the Colts. If they opt to go the free agent route, it's quite possible that it could look a lot like the Mike Adams signing a year ago.
Three, the Colts realize that they can't address every need as well as they'd like. Grigson noted that the team still has holes, but with a salary cap and limited draft picks it's unlikely that a team with as many needs as the Colts had could address all of them well. The team already added a running back, wide receiver, offensive lineman, defensive lineman, pass rusher, and inside linebacker, and when looking at it that way, they've done a pretty good job so far at addressing needs. They'll continue to try to do so, but Grigson knows that they won't be able to hit every one of them. The result could be young guys getting a chance to shine - which might include guys already on the roster such as Winston Guy, Dewey McDonald, or Colt Anderson.
Ultimately, here's the message that Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson both sent when meeting with the media this week: be patient. They know there is a hole at the safety position and they are looking at the options, whether that be in free agency or the draft. We'll have to wait and see just what the team decides to do at an obvious position of need.