The new league year begins in a month, and with it comes the start of the free agency period in the NFL. The Colts have several guys who will become free agents at that point, but there may be some of them worth re-signing. We’ll be taking a look at each one of them and discussing whether it would be a good idea for the Colts to bring them back or not. We begin today with safety Mike Adams.
Since signing with the Colts in the summer of 2014, Adams has been a terrific and much-needed addition. Signed at a time when the Colts really needed safety help, he became a three-year starter who has been very reliable and consistent. In two of his three years with the Colts, Adams has been a Pro Bowler (2014 and 2015), while he’s recorded 241 tackles, a sack, five quarterback hits, three tackles for loss, 19 passes defensed, 12 interceptions, seven forced fumbles, and five fumble recoveries in 44 games (all of them starts).
Adams developed a reputation as a turnover machine, as he recorded seven turnovers in 2014, six in 2015, and four in 2016. So he’s been responsible for 17 turnovers in three years (interceptions plus fumble recoveries), and in addition to that he’s been a stabilizing force in the back-end of the secondary amidst so much other change.
The downside, however, is that Adams will turn 36 years old in March, and with Chris Ballard now on board as the GM, it’s likely that the Colts will be wanting to get younger, particularly on defense. So if Adams were to be re-signed, it’d likely be just as a one-year stop-gap type player to give the Colts a veteran in the secondary while they work to add younger talent to develop. Because of that, however, it’s very uncertain whether Adams will be back at all and whether the Colts have interest in keeping him around. He’s been solid for them, but that doesn’t mean they’ll keep him.
The biggest question the Colts must answer is what their other options would be. As long as Clayton Geathers is healthy, he has the makings of a very good safety. But at the other spot? Currently, it’d be T.J. Green, who had a horrendous rookie season. That doesn’t mean the Colts should give up on him yet, but they can’t enter 2017 just counting on him to make a huge turnaround and be great. The Colts have to have a plan in place in case Green doesn’t make that huge jump, and right now they don’t really have one. That means they’re likely going to have to make a move at safety, especially since Clayton Geathers did well playing in the box last year (which would make it more important to have depth at safety to give them that flexibility). That’s where Mike Adams and Darius Butler, another free agent-to-be, come into the picture. The Colts could very well decide to bring one of them back to give them a veteran presence at safety, but it might not be Adams in that scenario. Butler brings more versatility, though Adams brings far more experience at safety.
The bottom line: though I think there’s a chance, I’m not really convinced Adams will be back. That wouldn’t be a bad move either, as long as the Colts can put together a good plan for the safety position that doesn’t totally rely on Green making that huge jump. If bringing Adams back on a one-year deal is that plan then it would make sense, but otherwise it makes more sense to let him walk.