Indianapolis Colts: 15 best free agent acquisitions of all-time

Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colts. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colts. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Erik Walden, Indianapolis Colts
Erik Walden, Indianapolis Colts. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

(2013-16). Erik Walden. 4. player. 46. . LB

The Ryan Grigson era was not a good one in Indianapolis. He made a lot of foolish draft picks and signed bad free agents who only hurt the team and undermined the Colts’ chances to succeed. But this next guy on the list was one of the few signings that did hit.

Erik Walden was signed right in the prime of his career, although no one knew that yet. He spent four years in Indianapolis and was a starter in all four years. He was a great pass rusher off the edge, collecting 11 sacks during his final year in Indianapolis in 2016.

Walden was the only guy who could be counted on for a consistent pass rush once Robert Mathis started to decline. Walden was able to consistently push the pocket and make quarterbacks move around in the pocket. He had the best years of his career in Indianapolis.

Over the years, the Colts have struggled to get good free agent pass rushers. But when they got Walden, he was on a bargain deal. He was a key member of the team when they made the AFC Championship in 2014. But even he couldn’t stop the New England Patriots that year.

Walden wasn’t quite the same after he left the Colts in 2017. He played one season for the Tennessee Titans and has been out of the league ever since. That isn’t the case for the next free agent on this list, who has played good years after leaving Indianapolis.