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Cheap free agents Colts should target: Offense

Chris Ballard is not known for splurging in free-agency, especially when it comes to offense, so here are some cheap guys that could be wearing a Colts uniform next season.

Washington Commanders v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Robert Woods, wide receiver

The Colts really need a veteran possesion receiver for whatever young rookie quarterback they eventually end up getting, and Woods makes just too much sense for the team. Having spent his last season on the Titans after a productive career both in Buffalo and in Los Angeles, Woods struggled a bit in the Titans’ run-heavy offense, posting his worst yards per reception and yards per game numbers in his entire career, but he is still a valuable receiver that can play a complementary role in the offense. I doubt he wants to spend his remaining years on a rebuilding team but if the money is right who knows.

Olamide Zaccheus, wide receiver

Besides having a really cool name, Olamide Zaccheus is a gadget type player that would be great rounding up the receiving group. Zaccheus has improved his numbers every single season, and should not cost more than 3 million a year.

Nyheim Hines (if cut), running back

Hines did not get that many touches (11 in 9 games) for the Bills, as it was mostly Singletary and Cook, with the latter scheduled to take a much bigger role in the offense. Nyheim has an expensive contract for a kick returner/5-touches a game so he could be cut by the Bills. In such case, the Colts should try and get him back on board, as he would be great in Steichen’s offense.

Andre Dillard, tackle

Steichen probably knows Dillard better than anyone, and I just know there has to be some potential there, either as a backup tackle or as a guard. I desperately wanted the Colts to trade for Dillard last offseason, and the team will now get a chance to scoop him up for what could very well be a league minimum contract.

Dan Feeney, guard

A former Indiana Hoosier, Feeney started his career with the Chargers, starting his first five seasons there, so we already have a connection with Steichen. Feeney was unspectacular as a starter, eventually ending up with the Jets as a backup. Feeney has plenty of starting experience, he is still relatively young, and we already have a connection both with the state and with the coaching staff.

Cody Ford, guard

Cody Ford’s career has not been spectacular since being drafted with the 38th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, but he could still make a decent career as a backup interior offensive line (something the Colts desperately need). Ford was considered somewhat of a raw prospect entering the League, so his best playing years could still be in front of him. He even offers some invaluable versatility, having previous experience at right tackle, left guard, and right guard.

Marcus Mariota, quarterback

Mariota is a slightly below-average starter who can somewhat keep an offense running thanks to his mobility, experience, and touch, which makes him an adequate “bridge” quarterback if the Colts plan on giving whichever signal-caller they take a redshirt year. My only issue with Mariota is how he took his benching with the Falcons, as he just quit on the team.

Gardner Minshew, quarterback

Steichen knows him well from his time with the Eagles, and the Colts know him well too as Minshew dismantled them Week 1 of the 2020 season completing 19 of 20 passes and adding three touchdowns. Minshew would be an excellent backup, he has experience playing for Steichen, and would be an amazing bridge quarterback. If the Colts manage to sign him for a contract longer than one season, they would be in a great position where if Minshew succeeds they could trade him next year and let the young rookie take the reins.