We complete this series with Part 5, taking a look at how the Colts can sculpt their roster down to 53 players before the 2018 season.
I fully believe that owner Jim Irsay, general manager Chris Ballard and the Indianapolis Colts are on the way back to some semblance of the team’s 2000’s glory days, so I wanted to put together this project where I see what the Colts can do to get back to Irsay’s favorite era — the Peyton Manning glory days.
No one can snap their fingers and make this team completely constructed in just one offseason. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Players take time to develop. It also needs to be appreciated just how special those Manning-led teams were. They did things that we may never see again, and that’s okay.
What these Colts can do is continue to build a foundation to try and start another quasi-dynasty.
TRIMMING THE ROSTER
We’ve now gone through the entire offseason (see below) and now it’s time to make the tough calls and get this roster ready for Week 1 of the 2018 regular season. Take it with a grain of salt because undrafted free agent and training camp/preseason roster turnover was not factored in. This was just based off of moves made following free agency and the 2018 NFL Draft.
After adding the players that were signed and re-signed in free agency, plus the draft picks, here is what the roster would hypothetically look like when cut down to 53 players.
For those who couldn’t see the font in the photo, here is the lineup:
- QB — Andrew Luck, Jacoby Brissett
- RB — Marlon Mack, Ronald Jones II, Robert Turbin
- WR — TY Hilton, Allen Robinson, Donte Moncrief, Chester Rogers, Cedrick Wilson
- TE — Jack Doyle, Erik Swoope, Darrell Daniels, Ross Travis
- OT — Anthony Castonzo, Chukwuma Okorafor, Le’Raven Clark, Denzelle Good
- OG — Andrew Norwell, Jack Mewhort, Joe Haeg, Deyshawn Bond
- C — Ryan Kelly , Anthony Fabiano
- DE — Jabaal Sheard, Bradley Chubb, Tarell Basham, Barkevious Mingo, Mike Love
- DT — Johnathan Hankins, Henry Anderson, Al Woods, Margus Hunt, Hassan Ridgeway, Grover Stewart
- SAM — John Simon
- WILL — Anthony Walker, Tegray Scales
- MIKE — Preston Brown, Edwin Jackson
- CB — Quincy Wilson, Pierre Desir, Nate Hairston, Kenny Moore, Holton Hill
- S — Malik Hooker, Clayton Geathers, Matthias Farley, T.J. Green, Jarrod Franklin
- K — Adam Vinatieri
- P — Rigoberto Sanchez
- LS — Luke Rhodes
Keep in mind that some of these depth pieces don’t matter right now because the bottom of a roster changes so drastically over the course of an offseason.
- QB — Brad Kaaya, Phillip Walker
- RB — Josh Ferguson
- WR — Krishawn Hogan, K.J. Brent, Kolby Listenbee, Dres Anderson, Justice Liggins, James Wright, Seantavius Jones
- TE — Jason Vander Laan, Mo Alie-Cox
- OL — Tyreek Burwell, Mark Glowinski, Isaiah Williams
There is nothing really surprising here. These are mostly the names that you would expect to see cut, some of them making their way to the practice squad. With Brissett staying on board and not being traded, Kaaya is relegated to the practice squad. Alie-Cox continues his training to be the Colts’ next basketball player turned tight end as well.
- DL — Caraun Reid, Joey Mbu, Anthony Johnson, Arthur Miley, Johnathan Calvin
- LB — Antonio Morrison, Darnell Sankey, Joshua Perry, Jermaine Grace
- CB — D.J. White
- S — Ronald Martin
It’s time for Morrison to be replaced. I made it a focal point in this offseason, adding Brown and Scales. Jackson was the better of the two when Morrison and Jackson started at inside linebacker for the Colts in 2016, so Jackson gets his spot back. Walker is probably a better option too.
COLTS 2018 FREE AGENTS
Italicized players have been re-signed in this exercise.
- QB — Scott Tolzien
- RB — Frank Gore, Matt Jones, Christine Michael, George Winn
- WR — Donte Moncrief, Kamar Aiken
- TE — Erik Swoope, Brandon Williams
- OL — Jack Mewhort, Jeremy Vujnovich, Mike Person
- ED — Barkevious Mingo
- LB — Jon Bostic, Edwin Jackson
- DB — Rashaan Melvin, Darius Butler, Pierre Desir, Chris Milton
- ST — Adam Vinatieri, Luke Rhodes