Pro Bowl LT Eric Fisher is signing a one-year, $9.4 million deal with the Indianapolis Colts, per source. The former No. 1 overall pick now will be Carson Wentz’s blindside protector.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 10, 2021
Fisher visited the Colts last week, and the IndyStar’s Jim Ayello reported that the visit had ‘went well’—although Fisher initially left the team facility without signing a contract.
However, perhaps the two sides just needed a little longer over the weekend to finalize a new deal and its finer details.
At 6’7”, 315 pounds, the former 2013 #1 overall pick made 113 career starts for the Chiefs—predominantly on the blindside (aside from his rookie season).
He was a Pro Bowler for Kansas City in both 2018 and 2020 respectively, blocking for superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Fisher made 15 regular season starts for the Chiefs this past season, as he earned a +80.0 overall grade from PFF (subscription)—including a +76.2 pass blocking grade.
In pass protection, Fisher surrendered 3.0 sacks and 34 total QB pressures during 702 total pass blocking snaps.
However, he suffered a late playoff torn Achilles, which was a precursor for his earlier surprising offseason release from the reigning AFC Champions—especially given the beating that Mahomes took in the Super Bowl without his blindside bookend.
Talent is not the issue with Fisher in 2021, who is still only 30 years old.
Rather, there are questions regarding his initial availability coming off the torn Achilles and overall durability—having also missed 8 games in 2019 for core muscle surgery.
That being said, there are reports that Fisher could return to the field as early as mid-August. While that could be overly optimistic, worst case, the Colts may just have to go a handful of games without Fisher to begin the season—starting Sam Tevi instead.
Given that the Colts were looking at starting Tevi regardless (without Fisher signing), that’s not a bad proposition for an initial few games.
However, given that general manager Chris Ballard was a member of Kansas City’s football operations in 2013 when Fisher was drafted, and the new pairing in Indianapolis is logical (especially given that at full strength, Fisher is the superior left tackle—namely in pass protection).
If healthy, Fisher fills a major need for the Colts along the blindside and should be a significant upgrade to otherwise projected starter Sam Tevi.
He also gives the Colts’ offensive line three former Pro Bowlers along with Quenton Nelson and Ryan Kelly to help keep new starting quarterback Carson Wentz both healthy and upright going forward—and thereby placing him in a better position to succeed to start his Indy tenure.
It’s a low risk, high reward signing—especially since it’s only for one season, and the Colts must’ve been comfortable enough with Fisher’s medicals to take the calculated shot: