The Indianapolis Colts have had a very busy offseason, but they seem to have made the most of it.
They’ve brought in a new general manager, a ton of free agents, eight draft picks, and a number of undrafted rookies - plus some new additions in the personnel department.
By most indications it looks like a very good offseason for the Colts, and that has been noted by many who cover the league. Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, who extensively focuses on and covers the draft, tweeted today that he thinks the Colts had the best offseason of any team.
Colts had the best offseason of any team. https://t.co/AgyKgIsZDH— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) May 19, 2017
The Colts have added 12 outside free agents, re-signed five of their own, drafted eight players, and signed more than 18 undrafted free agents. Those moves were all geared toward adding young talent with potential, particularly on the defensive side of the football. All throughout the offseason, Chris Ballard has shown that he didn’t think very highly of the roster he inherited from Ryan Grigson, and he has gone to work to try to improve it. The free agent signings are solid guys with upside and little risk on the contracts (only Johnathan Hankins has money guaranteed past 2017), and yet at the same time the Colts added a number of players who could start - most notably Hankins, who could be a big difference-maker in the middle of the Colts’ defensive line.
In the draft, the Colts added some playmakers, as they selected Malik Hooker in the first round, Quincy Wilson in the second round, and Tarell Basham in the third round. The Colts will likely have at least two starters from their draft class right away, and perhaps several more down the road.
All in all, here’s what the Colts did: they grabbed some solid talent through free agency in players who still have room to grow. They’re relatively low-risk contracts to add players who should hopefully at least help stabilize a terrible defense. Then through the draft the Colts added some playmakers and some interesting young talent.
But the biggest move of all for the Colts was perhaps the addition of Chris Ballard as the GM, replacing Ryan Grigson. The above moves that were mentioned were all made by Ballard, and his hands are all over the Colts’ rebuild. It remains to be seen how those moves will turn out exactly, but by all indications the Colts got a really good one in Ballard. Based on his past comments it’s clear that Matt Miller is a big Chris Ballard fan, so it’s likely that he’s factoring that hire into the claim that the Colts had the best offseason.
Ultimately, the question of which team had the best offseaosn is one that can be debated and that would garner a lot of debate, but it seems clear that the Colts improved. They’re not there yet, but they’re well underway in the rebuilding process - and this offseason has inspired reason for optimism moving forward.