Only one day after inking the NFL’s all-time leading scorer, kicker Adam Vinatieri, to a one-year extension, the Indianapolis Colts made the first step in solidifying the core of a team that finished 10-6 and made it to the divisional round of the playoffs. That step was the signing of right guard Mark Glowinski, who finished as a top 10 rated player at his position, to a three-year contract worth $18 million.
The free agency period officially begins on Mar. 13, and while there are some big name players that will have fans salivating, the Colts’ first objective will be keeping the in-house talent already on the roster. Some hard decisions must also be made concerning underachievers and bad scheme fits that unfortunately need to be let go. Next, we’ll take a look at those decisions, and also look at who should be brought in from the class of free agents.
SS Clayton Geathers
Geathers fought through injuries to have a career year, finishing second on the team in tackles (86) and showing that he’s a great scheme fit for this defense. He played the downhill box safety role that compliments free safety Malik Hooker’s deep safety role.
DT Margus Hunt
Hunt, a veteran player who enjoys having conversations in German with Andrew Luck, should also be brought back. He is on the tail end of his career but is still a disruptive force up the middle, and a strong team leader.
Desir, a journeyman cornerback, found his footing this year. Despite playing in a scheme that doesn’t ask much from its corners, Desir showed that he’s a capable piece and a valuable depth corner.
The signing of Glowinski for the right guard role makes Slauson’s future with this team murky, but he showed that, even after his injury in Week 5, he’s a valuable voice to have both in the meeting room and on the sideline. If the price is right, bring the man back, even if it is just a depth move.
Other players worthy of returning to Indianapolis include tight end Ryan Hewitt, safety Matthias Farley, center Evan Boehm, defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammed, and long snapper Luke Rhodes.
A defensive team captain in 2018, Woods played situationally in a scheme that didn’t call for his services much. He’s a good player, and should find a home next season, but not with this team.
Rogers played in all 16 games this past season, logging career highs in many categories, while also handling punt return duties. However, an upgrade here is needed and there are other free agents that should excite fans more than Rogers.
Grant was a free agent signing last year and dealt with nagging injuries all season. He’s not worth bringing back at this point, with a receiver room overhaul scheduled for this offseason.
Speaking of a receiver room overhaul, Inman was a mid-season addition to a lackluster receiving core and played admirably down the stretch, but the talent is just not high quality, and it would be a lazy move to think he can fill that number two spot behind T.Y. Hilton.
Other players that could be released include linebacker Najee Goode, defensive end Geneo Grissom, safety Mike Mitchell, tackle J’Marcus Webb, safety JJ Wilcox, cornerback Chris Milton, safety Corey Moore, and tight end Ross Travis
Sign From Free Agency
Beasley is the receiver referenced earlier in this story that fans should be attracted to. The Colts should look to add this dynamic slot receiver come March 13th. Beasley has already made it clear he wants out of Dallas, and would provide an excellent underneath option for Andrew Luck. A lot of what general manager Chris Ballard’s goal in free agency will be determined by if he thinks a player is a culture fit. Thus, players like Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown probably won’t be members of the Colts when the 2019 season gets underway. A player like Beasley, on the other hand, should.
Edit: Slauson is retiring