According to NFL.com, the Indianapolis Colts have seven free agents in the ‘Top 101 NFL free agents of 2021’:
42. Justin Houston
Edge · Age: 32
Professionalism ages well. One of the most productive pass rushers of the last decade can still get it done, albeit in a reduced role.
47. T.Y. Hilton
WR · Age: 31
Smaller receivers don’t always age well, but Hilton’s tape last year was a lot more impressive than his final numbers.
58. Denico Autry
DE · Age: 31
I defy you to watch Autry for a few games and not come away thinking, “Nice ballplayer!”
61. Xavier Rhodes
CB · Age: 31
In the right scheme, Rhodes showed in Indianapolis he still has quality snaps to give.
63. Jacoby Brissett
QB · Age: 28
See my note on Andy Dalton for the relative value of backup quarterbacks. The last time Brissett played with a healthy shoulder, in the first half of the 2019 season, he played quite well.
84. Marlon Mack
RB · Age: 25
One of the league’s most underrated running backs would be worth a flier, even coming off a torn Achilles.
92. Malik Hooker
S · Age: 25
Players coming off major injuries like Hooker’s torn Achilles can often be underpaid in free agency.
Of course, the Colts have a projected $43.6M of available cap space to work with, which was freed up largely in part, by their large number of pending free agents this offseason (as well as former starting veteran quarterback Philip Rivers retiring).
Among those listed, Xavier Rhodes, T.Y. Hilton, Denico Autry, and Justin Houston seem like the most likely to be re-signed at this point—who also are all in the highest four ranked free agents of NFL.com’s seven-player Colts group.
Remaining ranked free agents like Jacoby Brissett, Malik Hooker, and Marlon Mack could either benefit from a change of scenery or be forced to seek out an opportunity elsewhere.
It’s worth noting that some other key Colts’ free agents: linebacker Anthony Walker, cornerback T.J. Carrie, and tight end Trey Burton were all unranked. Of that group, Carrie seems like the most logical candidate to return right now.
Among the league’s ‘Top 101’ ranked free agents that the Colts could potentially pursue are Allen Robinson (#3), Bud Dupree (#12), Trey Hendrickson (#13), Carl Lawson (#14), Yannick Ngakoue (#20), Jonnu Smith (#27), Hunter Henry (#28), Shaquill Griffin (#29), Romeo Okwara (#31), Melvin Ingram (#52), Nelson Agholor (#56), Richard Sherman (#59), Patrick Peterson (#69), Sheldon Rankins (#75), Alejandro Villanueva (#79), and Tyrell Williams (#85).