The Colts have a few major holes on their roster heading into 2018, but the safety position wasn’t necessarily expected to be one of them.
Malik Hooker is coming back from injury after an impressive start to his rookie year, Clayton Geathers is hoping to be fully healthy after an injury-riddled couple of seasons. Both are now expected to be placed on the PUP list initially.
However, the Colts’ best safety last season may have been Matthias Farley.
Farley primarily played special teams as an undrafted rookie in 2016, but injuries at the safety position gave him an opportunity to start 15 games last season.
Farley excelled against the run with a run defense grade of 86.2 according to Pro Football Focus, and he was a playmaker in coverage as well with two interceptions and seven pass breakups from the safety position in 2017.
Farley is heading into the final year of a three-year, $1.6 million contract in 2018, and he needs to follow up last year’s breakout campaign with another strong performance this year if he wants to earn another contract.
With Hooker’s and Geathers’ situations now known for the beginning of camp, Farley will undoubtedly be given some significant first-team reps in their absence.
Even if Farley doesn’t start once these two are back for good, the Colts could use a lot of three safety personnel packages to get him on the field, especially with their potential weaknesses at linebacker and cornerback.
Farley and Clayton Geathers are both entering the final year of their contract in 2018, and Chris Ballard will probably only offer one of them a contract extension.
I think Farley has a very well-rounded game, and I hope he earns another contract to stay in Indianapolis.