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Early Look Into Free Agency For The Colts

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Colts will head into free agency with around $12 million in cap space, with the potential to increase it significantly with some roster moves. That amount gives Colts GM Chris Ballard room to make some of the 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.

Isaac Seumalo, Offensive Guard

The Colts offensive line was a top 5 unit in the league and was widely regarded as an elite group. In 2022 that couldn’t have been wider off the mark as the unit was routinely bad. The line suffered from continued bad play from its so called superstars and had a turnstile of starters at right guard.

The Colts could go into the free agent market to upgrade the right guard position and a familiar face for Head Coach Shane Steichen in Isaac Seumalo would do just that. Seumalo is a former third round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2016. Seumalo is a lesser known offensive lineman who has versatility in being able to pay both right guard and left guard.

Seumalo was part of a unit that helped the Eagles rush for 2,509 yards and passed for 4,364 yards and 59 total touchdowns on their way to a Super Bowl appearance. If the Colts do decide to upgrade the offensive guard position then a familiar face in Isaac Seumalo should be the guy.

Darius Slayton, Wide Receiver

Darius Slayton is a former fifth round pick out of Auburn. Slayton had a promising rookie season, finishing with 48 receptions for 740 receiving yards and 8 receiving touchdowns, leading the Giants in receiving yards for the year. His sophomore year in the league was very similar as he put up decent numbers, finishing with 50 receptions for 751 receiving yards and 3 receiving touchdowns. Inconsistent quarterback play has been one reason why Slayton hasn’t pushed on from his initial good numbers during his first two years in the league. Slayton fits what Ballard looks for in wide receivers with his 6’1” and 190 lbs and great speed. Adding Slayton to the Colts wide receiver group would give a rookie quarterback a fast big bodied wide receiver who can take the top off the defense and work from both the slot and out wide.

Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Defensive End

Ogbonnia Okoronkwo was a bright spark of a Houston defensive line that has been pretty much below average all year. The former 2018 fifth round pick out of Oklahoma had a slow start to his career appearing in ten games and not starting in any in his rookie year. Okoronkwo never started a game during his time with the Rams and only managed 4.5 sacks.

He was not re-signed by the Los Angeles Rams after his rookie contract ended but was picked up by the Houston Texans. Whether it was due to a fresh start or scheme Okoronkwo certainly made the most of his 1 year contract with the Texans. He had a career year producing 5 sacks and 44 tackles. It did take awhile for him to get going but once he did not many edge rushers played better than him. After he took over a full time starting role in Week 11, he ranked 8th overall in pass rush grade, 10th in pass rush productivity, and 11th in pass rush win rate, per PFF. On top of his pass rushing prowess, he added 11 rush defense stops, which were the 6th most among qualifiers, per PFF.

Okoronkwo is a good athlete for his size, standing at 6’2” and 253 lbs, the Colts would deploy him as a rotational piece at the defensive end position backing up Kwity Paye.

Rock Ya-Sin, 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 have Stephon Gilmore, Isaiah Rodgers and Kenny Moore pencilled in to start, however Moore is unhappy with his current contract and doesn’t fit Gus Bradley’s defensive scheme, Gilmore is 32 and on the last year of his contract and Rodgers had only managed to start 10 games in his three year NFL career.

Moore could be released or traded and Rodgers moved to full time nickel starter, therefore the Colts could do with adding a reliable veteran cornerback to the group. Could a familiar face be the answer? Rock Ya-Sin is a former second round pick of the Indianapolis Colts in 2019. The Colts traded Ya-Sin to the Raiders last season for Yannick Ngakoue and he played well starting 9 games and producing 45 tackles, 7 passes defended and 8 run stops. He clearly fits Ballard’s mould as he drafted Ya-Sin and adding him to the Colts cornerback group would be a huge boost.

Andre Dillard, Offensive Tackle

The Colts had a long term hole at left tackle since Anthony Castonzo retired after the 2020 season. However, the late season emergence of rookie tackle Bernhard Raimann gives the Colts a promising option moving forward at the position. What the team is in need of is a depth tackle who can push Raimann. Andre Dillard could do exactly that. Dillard is a former first round pick for the Eagles in 2019, he is exactly the type of offensive tackle the Colts need to add to their group. Dillard was drafted to be a franchise left tackle but injuries derailed that and the Eagles went in a different direction. However, he is still a solid tackle and would provide valuable depth and starter ability if needed.