While the Colts are slow-playing this free agency period— and I mean really slow-playing it— this is the perfect time to look at some players that they have signed. These players aren’t household names by any means, but they were brought in on minimum deals so the team could at least take a look at them. While it is rare that a futures contract player makes a team, the Colts have had a few that stuck over the years. The most notable ones being Chaz Green, Phillip Walker, and even Mo Alie-Cox (in 2018).
So while these players are unlikely to make the roster this upcoming season, it’s the offseason, let’s talk about something at least! Let’s take a look at a few of these interesting players:
Defensive Tackles Robert Windsor and Kameron Cline
The most likely players to make the roster from this list are defensive tackles Kam Cline and Rob Windsor. Windsor, a sixth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, being the clear front runner. After being drafted out of Penn State this past season, Windsor was unable to make the Colts’ roster out of camp and was subsequently waived. He spent a majority of the year on the practice squad, although he was called up for two games during the regular season (where he logged his first two career tackles).
In college, Windsor was a productive player for the Nittany Lions. The 6’4” 290 pound defensive tackle finished his career with 120 tackles, 19 tackles for a loss, 13 sacks, and two forced fumbles. He also posted an elite 40 time (4.9 seconds), 3-cone (7.47 seconds), and broad jump (114 inches) for a defensive tackle. While he needed to improve his strength and add size to his frame, a year on the Colts’ practice squad likely helped him a good bit.
Seeing Robert Windsor having a good training camp is big for this team. Probably doesn't have a big role early (especially if this Tyquan Lewis hype is real) but I like his long term fit as the backup at 3-T. pic.twitter.com/jEvCzhC99M— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) August 26, 2020
Looking at Kam Cline, and it’s a very similar story. Cline was undrafted out of South Dakota during this past draft cycle. He intrigued the Colts with his combination of size and athleticism, as he constantly put up elite numbers in training. Per a reliable source, he constantly put up numbers similar to Windsor as he had great 40 times (4.8 seconds), vertical jump (32 inches), 3-cone (7.1 seconds), and broad jump (114 inches). He was mostly on the practice squad as a rookie but he did appear in two games and recorded his first two career tackles. Like Windsor, he needed to improve upon his strength and it appears he has, as he has bulked up from around 270 to 285 pounds out of college. Really intriguing player who has a chance to make the roster next year.
I am sincerely intrigued by Kameron Cline and his abilities. UDFA out of South Dakota last year. Didn't have a combine last year because of Covid but was putting up elite numbers in training for a 6'4" 285 pound DT. Not saying he's a roster lock but the Colts do like him a lot. pic.twitter.com/IM0wFDszm5— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) March 21, 2021
Safety Roderic Teamer
The first two players were prime examples of me cheating to start this article. The futures players that we should really be looking at are players who weren’t on the roster this past year in any fashion, as you all don’t know anything about some of these players. One of the more intriguing options who has played in the NFL in the past is safety Roderic Teamer.
Teamer was an undrafted free agent out of Tulane in the 2019 NFL Draft. He saw time as a rookie for the Chargers, as he finished the year with 40 tackles, one sack, and one interception in six starts during his rookie year. Unfortunately, he was suspended for the first four games of the 2020 season for violating the league policy on substance abuse prior to the 2020 season. The Chargers ultimately ended up waiving Teamer, and he didn’t play a snap in 2020.
While, like most of these players, it is unlikely that he makes this roster, he is very interesting to say the least. He is a young player who had a productive rookie year and can play a little bit of that linebacker/safety hybrid role the Colts like. With only two safeties currently on the roster, I think he has a shot to make the team (and may get a full film room from me in the not-so-distant future).
Props to @FanOfNuance for pointing this out to me but the Colts also signed Safety Roderic Teamer to a futures contract this offseason. He didn't play in 2020 but started a few games in 2019 for the Chargers. Nice little safety hybrid who can play some linebacker pic.twitter.com/GwzEjfOBnW— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) March 21, 2021
Wide Receivers Quartney Davis and JJ Nelson
Receivers are always a fun position to look at and I’m sure you all have heard of both of these names. Let’s start with the more well-known name in JJ Nelson. Nelson was an electric player in Arizona when he started his career and was one of the more entertaining deep threats in the league for a time. He totaled 1,375 yards on 74 catches during his first three seasons, which was good for over 18 yards a reception. After those seasons though, he was replaced in Arizona and barely saw the field for the team in 2018. That lack of production continued in 2019 with the Raiders and he didn’t log a single snap in 2020.
While his career has been in a bit of a downward spiral since those first three years, there is still a lot to like in the electric receiver. He is a track star with top-tier speed (ran a 4.28 out of UAB in 2015). For a team that needs a player to spread out the defense and stretch the field, Nelson could have an outside shot. He is not an every-down player and there are probably more interesting options on the Colts’ roster, but that speed will always make a case for him to stick around.
With Michael Floyd out, JJ Nelson, aka Fire, came up huge! #BirdGang— BirdGang World Wide (@birdgangww) November 23, 2015
Going a bit on the younger side, Quartney Davis is super intriguing. A Senior Bowl invite, Davis went undrafted in the 2020 NFL Draft. He only did the vertical jump and 40-yard dash at the Combine, but put up modest numbers for a player of his size (6’1” 200 pounds). While he did bounce around a bit as a rookie and never saw the field, there are some things to like in his game. He has excellent footwork and looks like a player who can play either in the slot or on the outside. He won’t take the top off of a defense but he can find success in that short to intermediate game. Considering how young he is and that he is fairly polished, I think he has a fair shot to compete for a roster spot.
Quartney Davis, WR, Texas A&M-— Ryder McConville (@RyderM25) April 6, 2020
- Lightning quick releases
- Sudden/Precise route runner
- Separation quickness
- Deceptive through route stem
- Manipulating DB's with leverage/pace
- Athletic ability
- Elusive and decisive after catch#NFLDraft #GigEm pic.twitter.com/XwwRj2OtBb
Tight End Jordan Thomas
It is no secret that the Colts are in the market for a play-making tight end this offseason. One player who could fit the role is Jordan Thomas. Thomas is a former 6th round pick of the Houston Texans in the 2018 Draft. He had an impressive, albeit inconsistent, rookie year as he totaled 20 catches (on 23 targets) for 215 yards and 4 touchdowns. The 6’5” 265 pound tight end showcased that 4.74 speed he had at the Combine.
While he is not a complete player by any means and his career went quiet after that rookie year, his size and speed are certainly intriguing. He may not be the answer for their need at play-making tight end but he does have the traits to be a good move tight end in the league. I could see him making some noise in training camp for the team.
Frank Reich: Can we get a playmaking Tight End?— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) March 21, 2021
Chris Ballard: We have a playmaking tight end at home.
*The playmaking tight end at home:
*Jordan Thomas, signed to a futures deal. 6'5" 265 pounds ran a 4.74 40 in 2018* pic.twitter.com/jvtaLbgL3d
Other Notable Futures Deals
- Gary Jennings, WR: Former fourth-round pick in 2018. Has some deep speed and traits that could be interesting. Just has to put it all together.
- Darius “Jet” Anderson, RB: UDFA in 2020 who spent most of the year on the Colts’ practice squad. Not the greatest athlete but he put together some fun college tape at TCU.
- Paul Perkins, RB: A former 5th round pick in the 2016 draft, Perkins has bounced around the league a bit. Compact rusher who could round out a running back group.
- Benny LeMay, RB: UDFA in 2020 who had a great college career at Charlotte. Short yet sturdy back who tested poorly at the Combine. Could find a role as a power back in the league.
- Jalen Morton, QB: Young quarterback with a nuclear arm. Virtually no chance of making the roster but interesting as a practice squad stash type.
- Nick Nelson, SAF/CB: Athletic player who has some experience in the league. Former fourth-round pick who hasn’t put it all together.