The Colts overturned their entire coaching staff this offseason, which means there will be a new defensive scheme in Indianapolis. Incoming defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus will be replacing Chuck Pagano’s 3-4 scheme with a 4-3 defense in 2018. That could force some of the Colts’ defensive linemen and linebackers to play out of position in 2018, and Margus Hunt is one of those players.
Hunt excelled as a 3-4 defensive end last year as he had the best season of his career at 30 years old. Hunt only had one sack, but he made the first five starts of his professional career and he put up career highs in tackles (19) and assists (10).
Hunt is more of a run defender than a pure pass rusher, and I’m not sure how that will translate to a new position. At 6’ 8” and 298 pounds I could see Hunt either playing defensive tackle at the three-technique, or he could be asked to play on the edge at defensive end in the four man front. He’s not a great fit at either of those positions.
Hunt is heading into the second year of a two-year, $4.1 million contract, but the catch is that the Colts wouldn’t sacrifice any money in dead cap room if they decide to cut him before the regular season begins. Indianapolis has a few young defensive linemen they’ll want to take a look at in Tyquan Lewis, Kemoko Turay and Tarell Basham, and having Margus Hunt on the roster could prevent them from getting valuable reps.
While Hunt is coming off of the best year of his career, the combination of the scheme change and his advanced age will probably prevent him from earning a contract extension with the Colts.