Around this time of year, it's popular to look at "mock offseasons" and take a look at those moves that teams should make. There has been plenty of discussion regarding what the Indianapolis Colts should do in the offseason, and there have been plenty of interesting suggestions.
ESPN's Bill Barnwell recently took a look at every team in the NFL and examined five offseason moves that each team should make. It's an impressive series, and his offseason outline for the Indianapolis Colts is sure to be greeted by cheers from many fans. You can read his comments on each of the moves in the article itself, but below are the five moves he thinks the Colts should make.
1. Hand Andrew Luck a blank contract, and let him fill in the terms.
2. Undo last year's free-agent spending spree.
3. Bring back Adam Vinatieri and Jerrell Freeman.
4. Sign Damon Harrison.
5. Find a cornerback to play across from Vontae Davis.
His suggested moves make a lot of sense. It's widely believed that the Colts and quarterback Andrew Luck will reach a contract extension this offseason (both sides have publicly expressed a desire to do so), and Barnwell says the Colts should simply hand the quarterback a blank check - illustrating how important it is to lock Luck up long-term. It's sure to be a massive contract, but it's a move the Colts absolutely have to make.
Barnwell also suggests the Colts cut several former free agent signings - in particular, Andre Johnson and Trent Cole. He also mentioned D'Qwell Jackson and Arthur Jones (perhaps as a post-June 1 cut) as other options if the Colts want to make more moves and free up more cap space. Cutting Johnson and Cole, however, seem like easy decisions and ones that the Colts are likely to make. Then in free agency, Barnwell suggests the team bring back Adam Vinatieri and Jerrell Freeman - two players who are quite possibly the top two priorities for the Colts in free agency this year. Again, this plan sounds good - and while Freeman's value will likely increase because of a career year last year (which will cause some to be wary), but the Colts have to find a way to bring him back considering the lack of playmakers on the defensive side of the ball. Barnwell's other free agency plans for the Colts include signing nose tackle Damon Harrison to anchor the middle of the defensive line and improve the run defense (he notes that David Parry could be a good rotational piece but that the Colts need someone else too). Lastly, he notes the Colts need a cornerback to take the place of Greg Toler. Barnwell mentions Prince Amukamara as a potential option, but the underlying point is simply that the Colts need to find another corner.
Personally, I think this is a pretty great offseason plan overall for the Colts and one that is realistic. Locking up Andrew Luck long-term, keeping around Vinatieri and Freeman, cutting Johnson and Cole, and adding help at nose tackle and at cornerback makes a lot of sense. Of course, the Colts would still need help at pass rush (I consider that their biggest weakness) and along the offensive line, and neither position was addressed by Barnwell. If the Colts do make the moves suggested in free agency, however, it could open them up to using their draft to focus on their line and pass rush. So this isn't a perfect offseason plan, but I think it's a pretty good one that would cover some of the basic - yet important - aspects.
What do you think of the list? Which suggested move do you most want to see the team actually do?