So far in free agency, the Indianapolis Colts have made a number of moves but haven’t exactly been big spenders, as the contracts they are handing out are very manageable deals.
One of those deals in particular caught the eye of NFL.com’s Greg Rosenthal, who wrote an article yesterday about the best contracts of free agency so far (from the team’s perspective). He listed six contracts, and one of them was John Simon’s deal with the Colts.
Simon brings versatility, toughness and the potential to exceed his contract value after signing a three-year, $13 million pact with the Colts. Simon's no-frills upgrade to the roster could be a great sign of things to come under new general manager Chris Ballard.
Simon’s deal with the Colts is very reasonable, as he signed a three-year, $13.5 million deal with $5.5 million guaranteed, while there are incentives built in to his contract for things like making the Pro Bowl, playtime, and sacks that could make his deal worth up to $17 million.
That’s a fair contract for a guy who has produced during his four seasons in the NFL. He spent his rookie season with the Baltimore Ravens (who drafted him in the fourth round of the 2013 draft) but was cut after that, winding up with the Houston Texans, where he spent the last four seasons. He has played in 45 games in his career (starting 13) and has recorded 120 tackles, ten sacks, a forced fumble, and three passes defensed. He’s just 26 years old and already has significant experience in the NFL, and he has shown improvement recently and has turned into a solid all-around player. He can defend against the run, but he also has proven himself capable of getting after the quarterback. He’ll likely play the strongside outside linebacker role with the Colts, though with Jabaal Sheard there as well it will be interesting to see how the Colts use their linebackers.
There’s a lot to like about this signing for the Colts. It’s not a huge contract (especially for an edge defender on the open market), Simon is still young and entering his prime (he’s only 26 years old), he has already played and produced at the NFL level, and he addresses a huge position of need. Add all of that together and it makes for a pretty good free agent signing.