The new league year begins next 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 continue today with Chris Carter.
Depending on how closely you pay attention to the Colts, you may not even have been aware that the team has a player on the roster named Chris Carter. But they do - at least, for now. He’s set to become a free agent this offseason.
Carter, an outside linebacker, was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft, and he spent three seasons with the Steelers (playing in 29 games and starting four). He was cut during preseason in 2014, and the Colts signed him a few days later. He played in one game for Indy in 2014 before he was cut, only to be scooped up by the Bengals two months later. He stuck around in Cincinnati for a while, playing in three games in 2014 and 13 games in 2015 before he was cut. The Ravens signed Carter near the end of the season (he played in the final two games), then re-signed him that offseason. He played in five games with the Ravens in 2016 before he was cut in October - to be signed by the Colts one day later. He finished the season in Indianapolis, playing in nine games and recording six tackles. He contributed almost exclusively on special teams, recording two tackles and three assists.
Here’s the deal when it comes to Carter: this is one the Colts can simply wait and see on regarding a new deal. They’re turning the corner to a new regime under Chris Ballard, but they’re still going to need depth guys to fill out the roster. Could that be Carter? Sure, why not? But he’s unlikely to command that much attention on the open market, which gives the Colts the flexibility of waiting to see what else they’re able to do at the position first. Ideally, they’d like to upgrade significantly, but it’s possible Carter could still be there to sign at a later date if need be. And if not, then good for him - but the Colts would have other depth options to look at.
So ultimately, this decision seems pretty easy: either the Colts sign Carter to a minimum deal for depth purposes, or they wait and see what happens before adding depth to fill out the roster. Whether they re-sign him or not, it won’t make much of a difference in their outlook for the 2017 season.
What do you think? Should the Colts re-sign Chris Carter?