Three Free Agent Targets for the Indianapolis Coltsby Mike Fanelli March 15, 2021 1 comment
Three starting quarterbacks over the last three years: that is what the Indianapolis Colts have dealt with since the 2018 season. Andrew Luck retired right before the start of the 2019 season, which forced ideal backup Jacoby Brissett into the starting role. After seeing he wasn’t a realistic option to replace Luck, the Colts signed Philip Rivers last year. Despite reports that Colts wanted Rivers back in 2021, he decided to hang them up and retire. Instead of going down the Rivers road again with a veteran in the final years of his career, the Colts got aggressive and traded for former Philadelphia Eagles star Carson Wentz.
At 28 years old, the Colts hope and believe they have their franchise quarterback on the roster for the next decade. However, Wentz struggled in his final season in Philadelphia. Part of his struggles was the lack of support around him. With the Colts, he will play with the best offensive line of his career despite the hole at left tackle. However, the Colts need to add some weapons as T.Y. Hilton is about to hit the open market. To make matters worse, their top two wide receivers under contract have 64 career catches combined. Here are three players the Colts should target to help Wentz out.
Marvin Jones, WR, Detroit Lions
The Lions are undergoing a massive rebuilding project, but Jones won’t be part of it. However, the veteran wide receiver has plenty left in the tank. Last season, Jones was the Lions’ No. 1 wide receiver as Kenny Golladay missed 11 games with a hip injury. As the top receiver, Jones had 76 catches on 115 targets for 978 yards and nine touchdowns in all 16 games; all team highs. In Indianapolis, not only would Jones fill the top receiver role for Wentz but also provide veteran leadership to a young wide receiver core. While he was mainly a vertical threat early in his career, Jones has developed into an all-around weapon. The Colts can meet his contract demands while offering him a chance at a Super Bowl ring.
John Brown, WR, Buffalo Bills
In his first season as a Bill, Brown had a career year with 72 catches on 115 targets for 1,060 yards and six touchdowns. Unfortunately, Brown dealt with injuries last season that held him to a career-low nine games. With their cap situation, the Bills released Brown earlier this month. However, Brown has plenty left to offer a contending team. Brown recently did an interview where he praised the way the Colts have used Hilton. In Indianapolis, Brown would fill Hilton’s role as the vertical threat downfield. Given Wentz’s desire to throw the ball downfield, Brown would be an excellent addition for the Colts. Don’t be surprised if the two sides have a deal in place before the end of today.
On @SiriusXMNFL, F.A. WR John Brown lists Steelers/Colts as 2 potential suitors. On Indy: "The way they use TY Hilton … when we played those guys in the playoffs I walked off and I’m like, this team, they’re up and coming, they’re going to be a problem in the next few years."
— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) March 11, 2021
Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
Yesterday, there was a report that the Eagles will not release Ertz and are determined to work out a trade. After working out a deal for Wentz, the Colts should be on the phone to add his former teammate. Wentz loved throwing to Ertz in Philadelphia. The two had a special connection that couldn’t be stopped even when defenses knew it was coming. Like Wentz and several other Eagle players, Ertz had a disappointing 2020 season. He had 36 catches for 335 yards and one touchdown in 11 games; all career-lows. However, even at 30 years old, Ertz’s days as a top tight end aren’t over. If he pairs up with his former quarterback and offensive coordinator in Indianapolis, expect Ertz to have a Pro Bowl season.
#Eagles TE Zach Ertz is growing "increasingly impatient" with the team to get something done, per NFL Network. The #Eagles have been looking for something in the 3rd or 4th round range and it doesn't sound like teams are budging. Ertz's base salary for 2021 is $8.5M.
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) March 14, 2021