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Early look into free agency for the Colts

Divisional Round - Minnesota Vikings v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Colts will head into free agency with over $90 million in cap space. That amount gives Colts GM Chris Ballard plenty of room to make pretty much whatever moves he wants to this off-season. Ballard does have a few decision to make in terms of the Colts own free agents but after that he has the opportunity to address some of the teams roster needs in free agency. Here is an early look at potential targets Ballard could look at to address the teams needs.

Maliek Collins, defensive tackle

Maliek Collins is a third round pick from the 2016 draft by the Dallas Cowboys. Collins is exactly the type of defensive tackle that the Colts are looking for, he can push the pocket with his pass rushing skills and holds up well against the run also. Collins has produced 84 tackles, 20 for a loss and 15.5 sacks in his time with the Cowboys. Collins is still only 24 and adding a talent like him to the Colts defensive line would be a huge get.

Arik Armstead, defensive end

Arik Armstead is part of the San Francisco defensive line that has been destroying offensive lines all year and is now heading to the Super Bowl. The former first round pick out of Oregon had a slow start to his career only starting one game in his rookie year. Armstead's biggest strength appears to be his ability to play inside and out, he lines up at both defensive end and defensive tackle for the Niners.

He is a stout run defender and has been so throughout his NFL career but this year he has really upped his pass rushing ability notching 10 sacks. Armstead is a freakish athlete standing at 6’7" and 290lbs, the Colts could deploy him at either the defensive tackle position next to Denico Autry or the defensive end position across the Justin Houston due to his versatility.

Hunter Henry, tight end

The Colts have a hole at the tight end position as Eric Ebron isn’t likely to return to the team next year. Enter one possible option, Hunter Henry. Henry is a former second round pick for the Chargers in 2016, he is exactly the type of tight end the Colts need to add to their offense. Henry is a explosive field stretching tight end who always seems to be around the ball and produced good numbers for the Chargers.

Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni should be very familiar with Henry as he was in the offensive staff of the Chargers when Henry was drafted in 2016. Henry would be a huge addition to the Colts and an upgrade over Ebron.

Demarcus Robinson, wide receiver

Was actually drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs while Chris Ballard was there. Robinson was a fourth round pick out of Florida. Robinson has been a quite under the radar wide receiver for the Chiefs but has produced when it’s been asked if him. He has never had more than 35 catches in a season but has still managed to average over 12 yards per catch for his career.

If his game against the Raiders this year is anything to go off he is heading for a big breakout, hauling in 6 catches in 6 targets for 172 yards and 2 touchdowns. Robinson’s main problem may be that he’s buried on a talented wide receiver depth chart at the Chiefs who also have Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Byron Pringle and rookie Mecole Hardman .

If we compare Robinson to ex Chiefs receiver Chris Conley they had very similar careers with the Chiefs and now Conley on a different team had a breakout year with the Jaguars. Robinson could do exactly the same with the Colts next year.

James Bradberry, cornerback

The Colts secondary is very inconsistent, there’s games where they shut down the opponents receivers and then there’s games where they get destroyed down the field. The Colts likely have Kenny Moore and Rock Ya-Sun penned in at two of their starting cornerbacks spots heading into the 2020 season but after that there isn’t much certainty.

Pierre Desir is coming off a down year after penning a new contract, Quincy Wilson continues to be a healthy inactive and then there’s rookie Marvell Tell playing his first year at cornerback after switching over from college safety. The Colts could do with adding a reliable cornerback to the group. James Bradberry is a former second round pick from Samford for the Panthers. Bradberry plays in a similar 4-3 defense to the Colts relying more on a zone based coverage system.

He fits the Chris Ballard cornerback mold being 6’1" and having good ball skills (8 interceptions and 47 passes defended in his career). Adding Bradberry to the Colts cornerback group would be a huge boost but might also spell the end for Desir.

Quinton Spain, offensive guard

The Colts offensive line is a top 5 unit in the league and widely regarded as a elite group. If the line does have a weakness it comes at right guard with Mark Glowinski. Glowinski had a great 2018 campaign and was rewarded with a new contract but 2019 was a down year for him.

The Colts could go into the free agent market to upgrade Glowinski and Quinton Spain could do just that. Spain is a former undrafted free agent who signed with the Titans in 2015 before leaving for the Bills in 2019 offseason. Spain is a less known offensive guard in the league but his play does plenty of talking. In 2019 Spain allowed just 5 QB hits and 0 sacks on 633 pass blocking snaps.

Spain was part of a unit that helped the Bills rush for 2,054 yards and 13 touchdowns and pass for 3,229 yards and 21 touchdowns. If the Colts do decide to upgrade at right guard then Quinton Spain should be the guy.