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Bargain free agents the Colts could target

Ballard does not like to give big paychecks to free agents, so what bargains are available for the taking?

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

C Ryan Kalil, 34 — Carolina Panthers

Entering his final season in the NFL, Ryan Kalil may consider signing with a contender and could be willing to settle for a backup role. He would help bring depth to the center position, which suffered when starter Ryan Kelly was out and could serve as a mentor to the offensive line group.

Kalil could be a cheap, logical signing. He may serve a role similar to the one Matt Slauson did in 2018.

WR Jamison Crowder, 26 — Washington Redskins

Jamison Crowder would help shore up one of the thinnest position groups in Indianapolis. He is still young and has room to grow. With an elite quarterback like Andrew Luck, Crowder’s production could skyrocket. His value likely depends on the contracts top tier players like Tyrell Williams and Golden Tate sign. However, a deep class of talented receivers in the Draft, may help to suppress the market for middle tier free agents at the position.

Crowder won’t come cheap but given his age and potential, it is a signing that could pay dividends for the Colts, without breaking the bank.

EDGE Derrick Morgan, 30 — Tennessee Titans

In 2018, Morgan posted the worst production of his career. Not counting his rookie season (he played in just 4 games), he set career lows in sacks, QB hits, and tackles for a loss. This will probably suppress Morgan’s value and give the Colts a chance to take a look without over-extending on budget. When healthy, Morgan has been extremely effective at getting in the quarterback’s face.

He should be able to transition to a 4-3 scheme and could be a budget conscious way to help revamp the Colts defensive line. He will likely sign a contract without considerable guaranteed money or future year cap commitments.

EDGE Shaquil Barrett, 26 — Denver Broncos

Given the abundance of Broncos’ pass rushers, Barrett did not start a single game in 2018. He is still a young player, with room to grow and transitioning to playing with a hand on the ground would suit his style. Given enough snaps, he could become an excellent situational pass-rusher.

Barrett may not command considerable attention on the free agent market, so Indy could snag him on a reasonable deal.

CB Steven Nelson, 25 — Kansas City Chiefs

Don’t get me wrong, Nelson will likely get paid more than the free agents listed above. The problem for him is that his market may be quieter than it should be, which could work to the Colts’ advantage. Nelson was an above-average cornerback and is still young. If the Colts are willing to spend bigger dollars, Nelson should be on their short list.