Free agent signing – Andrew Norwell, G
Draft – Trade back with Buffalo
Re-signing of Colts free agent - If we’re going with obvious choices, Adam Vinatieri is a no-brainer. However, if this is supposed to be a surprise re-signing, there are several options. I’d look at Jack Mewhort or Donte Moncrief on short-term, prove it style deals. As a priority, I’d look at Pierre Desir, Mike Person and/or Barkevious Mingo. They’re all underrated but performed very well when they got playing time. Desir and Mingo could contribute on Special Teams as well.
Free agent signing – Andrew Hitchens, LB
Draft – Trade back with Cardinals, select Marcus Davenport, DE
Re-signing of Colts free agent - Where does all the hate toward Moncrief come from? The last time he was paired up with Andrew Luck, who’s expected to return next season, he caught 64 passes for 733 yards with six touchdowns. A reliable No. 2 receiver alongside T.Y. Hilton, Moncrief has only seen some decline the last two years because of who’s under center, not because of his own talent. With few receivers on the roster, I’m bringing back Moncrief on a reasonable deal and expecting him to return to form next season.
Free agent signing – Justin Pugh, Zach Fulton, Jack Mewhort, G
Draft – Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, at 3 or trade back to get Roquan Smith or Quenton Nelson
Re-signing of Colts free agent - When a team re-signs any of its current players it rarely is a huge surprise. However, there are certainly players who appear to be much higher priorities than others. Barkevious Mingo is one player who likely doesn’t top lot of fan priority lists but who could make sense for Matt Eberflus in his vision for the new-look Colts defense.
Remember that Eberflus will likely tie in a lot of hybrid concepts to the defense, even if he does switch to a “4-3 base.” Also, don’t immediately buy into claims that he will bring back the “Tampa 2” defense either. He will likely bring a Cover 2 defense to the Colts, but the vast majority of teams are in Cover 2 for a good portion of the game – there is nothing particularly distinct about going back to a Cover 2.
Where Mingo may fit in is in an “elephant” or “buck” role in certain defensive schemes. He can line up as a fifth defender wide of the tackle (wide 9) and can do just about anything at the snap. He can rush the quarterback off the edge, he can cover the flat, or he can drop back in coverage on his side of the field with safety help over the top. Tweener players like Mingo sometimes have to have positions and roles created to suit their skill set and while I don’t see Mingo as filling a starting position, I do see him as a relatively inexpensive, hard-working player who can serve in a situational role and on special teams.
Free agent signing – Andrew Norwell, G
Draft- Quenton Nelson, G
Re-signing of Colts free agent - Rashaan Melvin broke out last year, having a phenomenal year as a starting cornerback. The Colts secondary is full of question marks, so bringing back a talented young player would fix many things on that defense. His re-signing seems like a no-brainer.
Free agent signing – Carlos Hyde, RB
Draft – Bradley Chubb. In his scenario, Matt physically intimidated the Browns into not picking Chubb.
Re-signing of Colts free agent - Free agency will ultimately kick off the craziness that is the offseason, but before then, the Colts need to re-sign Rashaan Melvin. Melvin was a top-10 CB in the league when healthy last season. The Colts will need to have some familiarity back to be their CB1 and though he’s going to cost significantly more than he has to this point in his career, Chris Ballard will not make the mistake of a long-term deal for Melvin at his age.
Free agent signing – None. Jake doesn’t believe in free agency.
Draft – Quenton Nelson, G
Re-signing of Colts free agent - I think the most important free agent that the Colts should look to re-sign is corner Rashaan Melvin. It’d be great if he were a couple years younger (he’ll turn 29 during the season), but he’s a “young” 28/29 if that’s possible. Since coming into the league in 2013, he’s only played in 37 of a possible 80 games, so he’s got plenty of tread on the tires. Another argument is that he’ll likely command a hefty contract because he’s coming off of the best two years of his career and has Drew Rosenhaus as his agent. That’s only partly true. He’ll get a big chunk of change, but it’s not going to be a huge corner contract. It’ll look big for someone like Melvin, but you have to pay for free agents in this league, and the Colts have almost $80 million to spend. Not only has Melvin developed into a corner who can keep opposing receivers in check, but he consistently makes plays on the ball. The Colts developed Melvin into the best version of himself as a player; they should make sure that they’re the ones that reap the benefits of that.
Free agent signing – Ezekiel Ansah, DE
Draft –Trade Back with Buffalo
Re-signing of Colts free agent – If I had to pick just one free agent to re-sign from the Colts current crop of free agent players, it would be Rashaan Melvin. Melvin was an unassuming player who came to work and did his job last season. PFF had him ranked as the 17th best CB in the league. Whether that ranking is accurate or not is irrelevant. Melvin’s season was solid and he would provide a veteran presence and a solid contributor at the cornerback position while the Colts continue to develop their young players.
What’s more, him getting a good deal from the Colts would provide an incentive for those underappreciated younger players to work hard in hopes of getting paid by this front office. As long as they structure the contract so that it doesn’t tie them up in too much money over the long term, a deal bringing back Melvin makes sense for all parties.