While the Colts retained a few of their own key players and added a nice draft class, they only signed one veteran free agent expected to start in 2016: cornerback Patrick Robinson.
The Colts signed Robinson to a three-year, $13.5 million deal to replace Greg Toler as the number two cornerback alongside Vontae Davis. It's a move that provides an immediate upgrade at the position for Indianapolis and should pay dividends in 2016.
While we're still a few months away from the start of the regular season, Robinson has made a good first impression with the Colts this offseason as their workout program is nearly over (they have a mandatory mini-camp next week and then are off until training camp).
“He’s doing great," head coach Chuck Pagano said earlier this week. "He’s a great kid. He’s a great player and he’s a smart guy. To be honest with you, it seems like he’s been here longer than he has, like a couple of years. He has some familiarity obviously with [Defensive Backs Coach] Greg Williams being in San Diego last year. I remember [scouting] Pat when he came out [of Florida State]. A very athletic guy, who can run and cover. He’s got all the traits we are looking for as a cover corner. He’s done a great job. He’s a really good teammate and a hard worker. Like I said, he’s a grounded guy and a good pro. He’s doing a nice job.”
Originally drafted by the New Orleans Saints in 2010, Robinson has played in 74 career games between the Saints and the Chargers (starting 43), recording 229 tackles, a sack, 54 passes defensed, ten interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), and two forced fumbles. He had a very good year for the Chargers in 2015, and the Colts are hoping that he'll be able to replicate it for them in 2016.
Robinson can play on the outside or in the slot, and the Colts will likely move him around some. But make no mistake: he's the starting corner alongside Davis when the Colts are in their base defense, and he's already impressing. It's only June, but it's still encouraging to hear nonetheless.