“Colts free agency” is an oxymoron on the order of “Belichick Q Score” or “Texans playoff run,” but the Colts do actually participate in free agency each year, even if they back their way in. This short off-season was a little different than most, because Chris Polian managed to stir up some local buzz with a few late moves that could impact the team this season in a positive way. Here, then is how I view the Colts action from free agency this year, broken down by category.
Keeping Our Own – B
The Colts kept Joseph Addai, Antonio Johnson and Melvin Bullitt, all of whom I think play important roles on this team. Clint Session defected to Jacksonville, but he was in no way worth the $30 million deal that he got from the Jaguars. The biggest miss here was OL Charlie Johnson’s departure to Minnesota, but rookie Anthony Castonzo will hopefully more than fill that void, though he is of course unproven at the NFL level.
Taking Yours, Too – C-
The Colts, as usual, signed exactly zero big free agents whom were really coveted by other clubs, but at least that means they didn’t overpay for anyone. We all would have been excited to see one of the big-name cornerbacks, tackles or even receivers come to town, but we’re pretty much used to the way things played out. Besides, it’s much more fun to be excited about the post-season than the pre-season.
Bargain Bin – A
Here is where the Colts made their big splash this year, especially late in free agency. Once August rolled around, Indianapolis picked up DE Jamaal Anderson, LB Ernie Sims, and DT Tommie Harris. These guys could significantly improve the Colts’ defense, particularly their porous D against the run. To top it off, the Colts also made their usual run on undrafted rookie free agents, signing 15 in all and landing center Jake Kirkpatrick, who looks like he could be Jeff Saturday’s eventual heir.
Overall – B
On the whole, I’m pretty satisfied with the way this free agency period turned out. The Colts kept their strong core intact, didn’t spend an outrageous sum on any of the shiny toys on the market, and managed to markedly improve their defense, at least on paper. In this conservative town and with this conservative organization, that’s about all you can ask for. Things started out rough, but the end result is better than acceptable.