Colts Free Agency Grades
Dec 29, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; St. Louis Rams defensive tackle Kendall Langford (98) throws his helmet after being ejected from the game during the second half against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Seattle won 27-9. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Kendall Langford, 4 years $17.2M
The Colts signed Kendall Langford to essentially replace veteran Cory Redding along the team’s defensive line as a starting 3-4 defensive end. Langford was released by the St. Louis Rams for salary cap reasons after he had lost his starting job to standout rookie defensive tackle Aaron Donald. However, he still made 4 starts for the Rams last season and played in all 16 of their regular season games.
Oct 20, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; St. Louis Rams defensive tackle Kendall Langford (98) on the field before the game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
At 6’6″, 313 pounds, Langford is much more natural playing as a 3-4 defensive end then as a 4-3 defensive tackle that he played as a Ram. The 29 year old Langford is seemingly in his prime and a return to the position that he once played a high level of football with as a member of the Miami Dolphins, as a 3-4 defensive end back in 2011 could help jumpstart his career.
Still, Langford numbers appear to fairly pedestrian last season, and he wasn’t necessarily a standout defensive lineman on film. According to ProFootballFocus (subscription), he received a +0.4 grade overall as a 4-3 defensive tackle last season with the Rams. While a change of position should ultimately do him good, his grade as a 3-4 defensive end with the Miami Dolphins in 2011 (his last played season there) is worse at -5.0 overall.
To be fair though, Langford appeared to be a pretty good pass rusher from his old end spot with the Dolphins, as he received a +8.6 grade in pass rush. However, this was offset by his horrendous -13.9 grade against the run. For a team that desperately needs to improve its run defense, it doesn’t look like Langford provides much of an upgrade along their starting defensive line in this facet.
Nevertheless, Langford’s new contract is incredibly team friendly for the Colts, as only $2.5 million of his total $17.2 million is actually guaranteed. The team could cut Langford after one season with little salary cap repercussions:
While I’m certainly not in love with the signing, as it doesn’t necessarily give the Colts an upgrade in their run defense, I don’t hate it either. The Colts got a bit younger along their defensive line and maybe Langford could return to the more productive defensive lineman he was with the Dolphins, at least in the pass rushing department. Also given the nature of his new team friendly contract, the Colts can cut bait with Langford at any time without any significant salary cap ramifications.