As the Colts fine tune their final roster, they have made several surprising cuts. GM Chris Ballard was asked about some of those cuts, and his reasoning for some is surprising.
The Colts are clearly in a rebuilding mode. They only won four games a year ago. Even though that was without Andrew Luck, there are still clear flaws up and down the roster that need fixed. But making certain cuts can compromise the development of a team.
Chris Ballard has cut a lot of players that can play. Johnathan Hankins was one this spring. John Simon is the latest casualty. Both players have demonstrated that they can play, but yet Ballard decided to not to keep either.
Ballard was asked specifically about Simon. He said that even though Simon produced during the preseason and plays hard, they thought he is more of a left defensive end. Ballard said they like Tarell Basham and Kemoko Turay more for their potential at that position, and Margus Hunt now while Turay is hurt.
There has been a similar sentiment around the rest of the roster. Ballard seems to want to play a lot of young guys right now. He wants to get them experience and go through growing pains. But is that the smart play with a quarterback who is entering his prime?
Even with all of the questions surrounding Luck’s health, he is entering the prime of his career. The roster should be built around a prime quarterback to compete for a Super Bowl. Ballard is clearly not taking that approach.
There will be more roster jostling as the Colts will claim more players on waivers. But one thing Ballard has made clear with his actions despite what words he has said in the past; the Colts are building to compete in the future instead of competing right now.