The new NFL year starts in just under a month, and with a projected $54 million in cap space the Colts could make a few moves.
They really need a lot of help - particularly on the defensive side of the football - and while Chris Ballard has talked about needing to build the team through the draft, he didn’t rule out the possibility of making some moves in free agency either.
Yesterday, NFL.com’s Elliot Harrison looked at several of the top free agents this year and mentioned a couple of teams for each of them that could be possible fits. Now, it’s important to keep in mind that some (likely many) of the free agents on the list will be re-signed by their current teams, but at this point Harrison mentioned the Colts as a possible fit for two free agents in particular: Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower and Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett.
Hightower is indeed a very interesting potential fit, as he’s a good linebacker who showed skills as both a pass rusher and run defender with the Patriots. In five seasons he’s recorded 372 tackles, 17 sacks, 12 passes defensed, and two forced fumbles while playing in 67 games and starting 64. He’d be an upgrade at inside linebacker for the Colts and would be a versatile option for them as he could help in multiple areas, but the question has to at least be posed about how much he benefitted from Bill Belichick and the Patriots’ system. The Colts would need to ensure that they know how to use Hightower and, well... you know. That’s no guarantee. But even still, Hightower would certainly help the Colts.
The fact that Bennett is listed is much more interesting, and Harrison mentions that it’s because Dwayne Allen hasn’t lived up to his contract and because Jack Doyle is a free agent. He had a really good 2016 season with the Patriots as he caught 55 passes for 701 yards and seven scores, and he’s had a productive NFL career. But if the Colts are going to make a significant free agent signing at the tight end position, it’s far, far more likely that it’d be Jack Doyle rather than Martellus Bennett.
The Colts will likely make a few moves in free agency this offseason, but they might not be either of these signings. But what would you think of Hightower and/or Bennett to the Colts?