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My Colts’ ideal offseason

How the Colts’ perfect offseason would look like

Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

We are entering what is going to be yet another consecutive pivotal offseason for the Colts, a year after finding their franchise quarterback for the future, him getting injured and the backup being a drop away from leading the team to the playoffs unexpectedly, while also finding out their head-coach to also lead this team into the next decade.

Now that the hard part is over, the goal to tackle this offseason is to finish rounding the roster and building a team that, led by Anthony Richardson, should be more than capable to contend for the division and make it to the playoffs.

Colts’ expiring contracts

Re-sign:

  • Michael Pittman Jr (wide receiver): 4-year / 80-100M deal
  • Grover Stewart (defensive tackle): 2-year / 20M deal
  • Gardner Minshew (quarterback): 3-year / 15M deal
  • Kenny Moore II (cornerback): 2-year / 16M deal
  • Tyquan Lewis (defensive line): 2-year / 10M deal
  • Julian Blackmon (safety): 3-year / 21M deal
  • Zack Moss (running back): 3-year / 15M deal

There are a ton of Colts to re-sign this offseason, so we will go from most to less fundamental. First of all #1 receiver Michael Pittman Jr. We all know how young quarterbacks improve when the team gets them an exceptional receiver, it happened with Diggs and Allen, Chase and Burrow, Tua and Tyreek, the list goes on. The Colts are in perhaps a weird situation because I am not sure I would put MPJ in that tier just yet, but I do not think that he has reached his full potential yet, considering he had to play with five different quarterbacks and none the caliber of AR5. That said, I would be comfortable with whatever money he gets, just keep him here.

Grover Stewart is also a weird situation because he was in line for a big extension as the Colts’ starting 1-tech defensive tackle, but a 6 game suspension because of PEDs certainly had a knock in his value. I don’t think any other team will see more in him than the Colts, so I fully expect him to remain with the team.

Kenny Moore is a respected veteran and a locker room leader. While he did struggle a bit with Gus Bradley’s scheme at times, his presence is vital for the Colts’ young cornerbacks and I expect him to remain with the team.

Minshew is in my opinion the perfect backup quarterback to have for Anthony Richardson. Sure, he is unspectacular, he leaves a lot of big plays on the field, and he missed on the most important throw of the season, but keep in mind that this was not supposed to be a playoff caliber team, especially after AR’s injury. He kept the ship steady, is liked by the rest of the guys, comfortable in Steichen’s scheme, and always ready to come in in relief. The Colts naturally should have some questions about Richardson’s durability, and also offer a nice situation for Minshew to be in, as his chances of starting are higher here than anywhere else in the NFL.

Julian Blackmon is a slightly above-average NFL safety, he is already more than familiar with Bradley’s scheme and I like the idea of keeping the players we draft to remain with the team. Blackmon could prove to be a bit more expensive, but considering how thin the Colts are at safety I don’t think we can afford the risk of him walking.

Tyquan Lewis was one of my favourite Colts’ players last season, and other than Samson Ebukam and DeForest Buckner he was the team’s most productive and consistent pass-rushers. I don’t think he will be too expensive and the team should be able to keep him at a low price.

Let Go

  • Rigoberto Sanchez (punter)
  • Taven Bryan (defensive tackle)

Rigoberto Sanchez is difficult to analyze, but if you look at the numbers he was not in the upper echelon of punters in the NFL, and while I am no special team’s connoisseur I saw some problems with his holds in field goal attempts. That is why I believe the Colts would be better off letting him go and trying their luck with another punter. I would not be upset if he was re-signed, but in the end I just do not care enough.

Taven Bryan was what the Colts signed him for, because his pass-rushing skills were adept for a backup, but he is just too much of a liability in the running game, and when Stewart was suspended the run defense for the team suffered a lot.

Free Agency

Josh Allen / Brian Burns

The Colts need an edge rusher that can consistently beat one-on-ones and pressure opposing quarterbacks, and that is exactly what either Jaguars’ Josh Allen (not to be confused with the Bills’ quarterback), and Panthers’ Brian Burns would bring to the team. A premier edge rusher would take this defense to the next level, and the Colts have to take risks with Anthony Richardson on a rookie deal for the next four seasons. I do not care about the rest of the free agency or bringing in veterans on cheap contracts, I want star power, and Allen also comes with the added value of taking a blue chip player away from a division rival. Make it happen.

Draft

First Round: Cornerback = KoolAid McKinstry / Terrion Arnold / Nate Wiggins

The Colts, even despite taking Brents in the second round last year, and uncovering a potential gem in Jaylon Jones, still have a glaring need at cornerback. The Colts’ defense was much better when all three cornerbacks were at the top of their game, and Bradley’s defensive scheme needs physical cornerbacks who can take away the short pass. The team is lucky that there are some talented guys in the draft that should fall right into that 12-18 range, and available for the team to take.

Middle Rounds: Safety, defensive tackle, linebacker

I will not give names here, as that is subject to a lot of change in the upcoming draft process, but I will go after positions. My draft crush this season is Texas’ A&M linebacker Edgerin Cooper, who could easily become a day one starter. Other than that I think that there is a glaring need at safety, especially more if Blackmon signs elsewhere, and it was proven last season that the defense needs a backup defensive tackle that can stop the run and take up double teams. Okay I lied, just to throw some names out there I like Tyler Nubin from Minnesota, Braden Fiske from FSU, and Kamren Kichens from Miami.

Later Rounds: Running back, punter, offensive line depth

This is more of a crapshoot, so I will not go into heavy detail. Considering how well Ballard has drafted recently in the later rounds, I fully trust him in this regard to do whatever he feels like.

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