The Indianapolis Colts have had a quiet offseason by their standards, but that's not neccessarily a bad thing.
Instead, it signifies a bit of a shift in the culture in Indianapolis, as the Colts are no longer spending huge money in free agency. In fact, outside of a few notable moves to retain their own (like Dwayne Allen and Adam Vinatieri), they made just one big free agent signing in cornerback Patrick Robinson. That made the draft even more important, and the Colts used four of their eight picks to add offensive linemen while also adding some defensive help as well.
Recently, USA Today's Nate Davis set out to rank each team's offseason, and as you might expect, the Colts are right near the middle of the pack. Davis ranks the Colts' offseason 19th out of the 32 teams:
They spent four draft picks on offensive linemen, which should be welcome news to battered QB Andrew Luck even though he lost TE Coby Fleenerto free agency and doesn’t yet have a long-term contract. But coach Chuck Pagano and GM Ryan Grigson did get new deals, perhaps why they seemed far more measured with their spending habits.
The Colts were much more calculated in their moves this offseason, having to pick and choose more carefully where to spend their resources. That meant letting guys like Jerrell Freeman, Dwight Lowery, and Coby Fleener walk in free agency, while re-signing guys like Dwayne Allen and Adam Vinatieri. That meant passing on some of the big-name free agents and waiting to sign guys like Patrick Robinson. And that meant avoiding some of the huge-money contracts in order to save room for Andrew Luck's looming mega-deal. The Colts' free agency period was exactly what it needed to be, addressing a few needs (cornerback was a big one, and tight end and kicker would have been if not for the moves made) but also opening up some others (like inside linebacker).
The Colts also didn't address two of their biggest needs in pass rush and offensive line help, which is where the draft came in. The Colts spent their first round pick on Alabama center Ryan Kelly, who projects as a long-term starter up front for Indy. They also grabbed three other talented linemen in Le'Raven Clark, Joe Haeg, and Austin Blythe, though their pass rush wasn't addressed as adequately as many would have hoped (as seventh round pick Trevor Bates and several undrafted guys are the big additions).
All in all, it was a solid but unspectacular offseason for the Colts. They retained some key guys and added some starters in other areas (center and cornerback), though they opened up a need at inside linebacker and didn't really address their pass rush. The reality is that the Colts likely weren't going to be able to address all of their needs well this offseason, and so they choose instead to address a few spots and do them well rather than find some fill-in guys for several spots. That's not a bad strategy, but it does lead to some mixed reviews in a ranking like this one and makes the Colts' ranking in the middle of the league both expected and deserved.