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Colts free agency 2017: Should the Colts re-sign Zach Kerr?

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Minnesota Vikings Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

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 restricted free agent Zach Kerr.

The Colts signed Zach Kerr as an undrafted free agent out of Delaware in 2014, and he’s carved out a nice role for himself as a depth defensive lineman since then. In his three seasons with the team he has played in 36 games and started eight of them, recording 64 tackles, eight tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, eleven quarterback hits, a forced fumble, and two passes defensed. He had a nice season in 2016, playing in 12 games and starting four of them, recording 19 tackles, four tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and six quarterback hits.

Kerr has developed into a good depth player for the Colts up front defensively. Last year, he proved capable of stepping in and starting for a few games when other guys were injured, and he’s been a reliable rotation piece for the Colts. Last year, he was arguably as disruptive as ever since entering the NFL.

The good news for the Colts is that Kerr is just a restricted free agent, meaning they’d be able to extend an RFA tender to him. That doesn’t guarantee that he’ll be back, but it’s unlikely that a player of his caliber would draw a ton of interest from another team in that situation. So it’s probable that the Colts would be able to bring him back for a relatively small contract (though it would still be a raise for him).

Because of the fact that Kerr likely won’t cost that much to keep around, I think it’s definitely worth bringing him back for depth purposes. The Colts have to hope that Henry Anderson and Kendall Langford rebound next year and stay healthy, and it’s also possible that the Colts could add another defensive lineman or two this offseason anyway, given Chris Ballard’s emphasis on the trenches. But it still wouldn’t be a bad idea to bring Kerr back to give him a shot to compete for a depth spot and to carve out a role with the team, especially given the fact that he’s just a restricted free agent.