The Indianapolis Colts 2019 season has come to an end. After a very disappointing season the Colts now face a pivotal offseason to help steer the franchise back in the right direction and back to winning ways. The first big topic on the Colts offseason agenda is deciding who among their own free agents they should re-sign.
The Colts currently have 14 players set to become unrestricted free agents at the end of the NFL year. So, today we are going to play a little game of swipe left (no) or swipe right (yes), made famous by a certain dating app, with the 14 Colts upcoming free agents.
OT Anthony Castonzo - Swipe Right
The decision whether or not Anthony Castonzo is a Colt next year may not be up to the Colts. Castonzo is currently pondering the idea of retiring this offseason. However, if Castonzo does decide to continue playing football, the decision to re-sign him is a no-brainer. He’s a top-10 left tackle in the league and a clear franchise left tackle who is coming off another dominant year protecting the Colts blind side.
WR Devin Funchess - Swipe Right
Devin Funchess' return or not is a difficult decision. Funchess played all of three quarters in the 2019 season after breaking his collarbone in Week 1 against the Chargers. Funchess is exactly the type of receiver the Colts need, which explains why Chris Ballard went after him in the 2019 free agency period. He’s got great size, hands and good speed and was a reliable option for Brissett in training camp and the preseason.
If Funchess is willing to return on a discounted price, rather than the $10 million contract he received last year, then I think he will return. If not, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him leave.
TE Eric Ebron - Swipe Left
I have a few words to describe to you if Eric Ebron will be a Colt next year: “Most probably well move on”. GM Chris Ballard was asked about the possibility of Ebron returning and basically said "no", and rightfully so. Ebron had a woefully disappointing year ending in a injury clouded by speculation. Ebron had an amazing 2018, but couldn’t get anywhere near the production in 2019 and ended his year on a sour injured reserve designation. It seems pretty clear than Ebron won’t be a Colt next year.
DE Jabaal Sheard - Swipe Left
Jabaal Sheard is a very dependable defensive end on the Colts defense. He isn’t flashy, but he grinds away in both the run game and pass rushing. Sheard was brought in by Chris Ballard in 2017 and played 3-4 OLB under ex-Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, then switched to 4-3 defensive end after Pagano’s firing. In his three years in Indianapolis he has produced 127 tackles, 28 for a loss and 15.5 sacks.
Sheard is a veteran presence on the defensive line but with the addition of Justin Houston last year and the rest of the group heading for a younger look, Sheard is likely made expendable.
K Adam Vinatieri - Swipe Left
Adam Vinatieri is the greatest kicker of all time and even after saying that it seems like a understatement. What Vinatieri has done for the Colts and the NFL is amazing. From his Super Bowl rings to his NFL records, he will be a first ballot Hall of Famer, and rightfully so. All that being said, he was awful last season. He missed field goals and extra point attempts that would of been routine for him previously in his career.
Vinatieri made just 17 field goals on 25 attempts and just 22 extra points on 28 attempts (both the lowest in his career) before finishing the season on injured reserve. Whether this is the end for Vinatieri’s career it’s unclear, but it should be the end of his time in Indianapolis.
SS Clayton Geathers - Swipe Left
Clayton Geathers came into the league as a fourth round pick out of Central Florida. He played sparingly in his rookie year, but showed promise. Since his rookie year, Geathers seemed to improve year after year, but with his improvement one thing also remained constant: injuries. In his entire career, Geathers has never played a full 16 game season. The closest he came was in 2019, when he managed 15 games.
The 2019 season showed the toll that a career littered with injuries has taken on Geathers. His play dropped off in 2019, especially his pass coverage. Geathers is a vet in the Colts secondary, and a team captain, but his play simply isn’t good enough, and he shouldn’t be re-signed.
OL Joe Haeg - Swipe Right
Joe Haeg, the "Swiss Army Knife", has seemingly lined up at every position along the line for the Colts. From filling in at left tackle for Anthony Castonzo, to starting at right tackle, even taking snaps at centre during training camp,
Haeg just does it all. The Colts originally drafted Haeg in 2016 after being Carson Wentz’ blind side protector in college. Haeg’s versatility and dependability will be exactly why he should be kept around going forward, but it also might attract a few suitors if he reaches free agency unsigned. Haeg should be re-signed.
Chester Rogers - Swipe Left
Chester Rogers managed to stick around after the Ryan Grigson era in Indianapolis ended. Rogers was an undrafted free agent signed after Grigson’s last Colts draft. During his four year Colts career he never managed more than 500 yards receiving or more than 2 touchdowns in a season.
Rogers primary spot on the roster was due to his reliable punt returning ability but after a bad showing in 2019 ending in a injury reserve designation he was replaced as the teams punt returner by Nyheim Hines, who made it his job for the foreseeable future. The wide reviver position needs an influx of talent, and Rogers shouldn’t be re-signed.
Dontrelle Inman, Jonathan Williams, Le’Raven Clark, Josh Andrews, Isaiah Johnson and Briean Boddy-Calhoun - Swipe Left
None of the above are immediate needs to be re-signed and will likely all be replaced by outside free agents or draft picks. Inman was brought in after the wide receiving corps was decimated by injury. Williams filled in well for Mack but didn’t do much otherwise as he was inactive for most of the year. Clark was a promising tackle drafted in the third round, but he never turned measurables into good NFL play.
Andrews was signed off the Eagles practice squad to back up Ryan Kelly. He did so, but is replaceable. Johnson spent the year on injured reserve and a rookie will likely replace him on the roster. Body-Calhoun was signed after the Colts nickel corners went down injured and played in two games but again is easily replaceable.