Robert Ayers – Defensive End
2017 team – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2017 stats – 2 Sacks, 20 Tackles in 12 games
Last Contract – 3 Yrs / $19,500,000 (cut after year two)
Age – 32
The Colts need to find edge rushers, plain and simple. Robert Ayers has shown flashes of greatness in his nine year playing career. In 2015 the former Tennessee volunteer recorded nine sacks as a member of the New York Giants. His breakout season landed him a three year $21 million contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But Ayers production dropped off significantly in his two years with the Bucs. Tampa releases Ayers, and the veteran is still looking for another team.
That team could be the Indianapolis Colts, who are desperate for pass rushers off the end. The team is still high on Jabaal Sheard and Margus Hunt, despite having the second fewest sacks in the league in 2017 (25.0). Ayers would be another body to rotate in on the defensive line, and give the opposing offensive line different looks. Ayers is towards the end of his career, but can still give the Colts a boost on the defensive end.
Not only would Ayers help the pass rush, but he would also help the run defense. This is an area that also need to improve if the Colts want to earn a playoff spot. 120.4 yards per game is not going to cut it, and Ayers could help bring that number down to a respectable total.