New Colts general manager Chris Ballard spent the past four years with the Chiefs, and so it’s logical to wonder how many Kansas City players Ballard might bring to Indianapolis (much like there was an Eagles connection early on in Ryan Grigson’s tenure).
That has primarily revolved around potential free agents (Eric Berry and Dontari Poe), but what about trades? That can’t be ruled out either. Recently, ESPN’s Mike Sando outlined eight trades that should happen in the NFL this offseason, and two of them involved the Colts making a deal with the Chiefs.
The first suggestion is for the Colts to send a conditional 2018 draft pick to the Chiefs for safety Ron Parker.
New Colts general manager Chris Ballard reaches into his past with the Chiefs to find a center fielder to replace Mike Adams, who is eligible for free agency. Kansas City would save under the cap while remaining focused on re-signing Eric Berry.
This trade would actually make sense for Indianapolis, depending on their free agency plans. If they’re not sold on bringing Mike Adams and/or Darius Butler back, then adding Ron Parker would give them a starting safety to pair with Clayton Geathers. Parker has spent the last four years with the Chiefs and has played in all 64 games while starting 48 of them. In fact, over the last three seasons Parker has started all but one game for Kansas City at safety, and he’s been productive. Though he’ll be 30 years old by the time the regular season rolls around, he’s still a capable starter. If the Colts could get him for a conditional draft choice, it would be something worth exploring.
The other suggested trade is for either the Colts or the Seahawks to send a 2018 fourth round pick to the Chiefs for defensive lineman Jaye Howard.
Howard is signed through the 2017 season on a deal featuring $3.7 million in base salary. The Chiefs have other priorities to re-sign on defense, from Dee Ford to Dontari Poe to Berry. Parting with Howard still could be tough for the Chiefs as they try to keep together a playoff-caliber defense.
Seattle has consistently found effective veteran defensive linemen on short-term deals in free agency. This move would use the trade route to the same end. The Colts also would make sense given their need for defensive help and their ties to the Chiefs through their new general manager.
Howard is a good defensive lineman, and he’s played in 45 games in his NFL career while starting 28 of them. He would help the Colts’ defensive front, and he’s a guy that Chris Ballard is familiar with, but is he worth giving up a fourth round pick next year? That would be a much tougher question for a general manager who has emphasized the need to grow their own players.
Whether or not either of these trades happen, Colts fans should pay a bit closer attention to the Chiefs and players who might be available this year, as Chris Ballard could look to some guys he’s familiar with to help address needs with his new team.