While this spring promises to be calmer than the last two — given that the franchise isn’t bringing on a new general manager or hiring an entirely new coaching staff — Chris Ballard still has to focus on keeping the core of his team together and positioning the franchise for the future. One of the first areas he will need to navigate is the pending free agency of his own players and which of them fit into his vision and which fit into the “home grown” label that deserve a reward for their hard work and effort.
Today, we examine three of the biggest names who are set to become unrestricted free agents if Ballard is unable to reach an agreement before 4:00 PM ET on March 13, 2019.
WR Ryan Grant
When one thinks about Indianapolis Colts wideouts, Ryan Grant isn’t the first name that comes to mind. Still, he is only 28 years old and heading into his sixth NFL season, after spending his first four with the Washington Redskins. He signed with the Colts in 2018 on a one-year, $5 million contract.
Grant was on the field for 52% of snaps and caught 35 passes for 334 yards, in 14 games. The Colts have a lot of money to spend but re-signing Grant would be a terrible mistake.
DT Margus Hunt
The massive 6’8” defensive tackle should be a priority for Chris Ballard. The Colts front seven is a little weak and will likely be a target for upgrades in the draft. While the Colts have been very comfortable giving young players significant playing time, bringing back a veteran who has had the best production of his career in Indianapolis wouldn’t hurt the process.
Signing Hunt to a two-year deal worth around $4.5 million makes sense. Hunt finished 2018 with 5 sacks, while he also earned career highs in almost every statistical category. There is no doubt DC Matt Eberflus has had an impact on Hunt, and if he is confident in his ability to make plays in 2019, he should stay.
A fourth round pick in 2014, Desir is entering his sixth season and has become an instinctive play-maker in the secondary. He has elite-level athleticism, and possesses the tools needed to make plays on the ball. The only area where Desir needs to develop is his physique to jam speedy receivers off the snap, especially since his foot-speed is only average.
For a guy who was claimed off waivers from Seattle back in 2017, Desir has shown a lot of potential. The Colts should consider signing for 3 years at around $6 million per year.
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