It was reported earlier this evening that the Colts had hosted Bengals defensive end Margus Hunt on a free agent visit today, and it sounds like that visit went well. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reports that the Colts have signed Hunt to a two-year contract.
Hunt was drafted in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals, and in four seasons with the team he has played in 44 games and recorded 29 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and three passes defensed. He grew up in Estonia and was very good at discus throw and shotput, but he picked up football while in college at SMU. So when the Bengals drafted him in 2013 he hadn’t been playing football that long and was a project player, but he has good physical traits (though he’ll turn 30 years old this offseason). One of the biggest things that Hunt has done with the Bengals is block a few kicks, which his size (he’s 6-8) surely helps with.
He certainly proved to be a project player during his time with the Bengals, but he had recently shown some flashes. For the Colts, they’re likely taking a flier on the guy hoping that they can continue his development and get a solid depth defensive lineman. It’s a bit interesting that it’s a two year deal in that regard, but the Colts are likely just bringing Hunt in to see what he can do and to add competition to a defense that really needs it. Chris Ballard has strongly emphasized the need to add to the competition level of the roster, and that will mean signing guys like Margus Hunt (or like Barkevious Mingo a few days ago) to add depth and compete while hoping that perhaps he can step up into a more solid contributor.
Ultimately, this isn’t an exciting signing for the Colts. Hunt really hasn’t produced much at all, and he’ll turn 30 before training camp starts despite having only played four seasons in the NFL. It’s fine for depth purposes and to add competition, but it won’t get many fans excited.