Colts: Predicting the perfect offseason plan for Indy

Jerry Trotta
Owner Jim Irsay, head coach Frank Reich and general manager Chris Ballard of the Indianapolis Colts pose for a photo during the press conference introducing head coach Frank Reich at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 13, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Owner Jim Irsay, head coach Frank Reich and general manager Chris Ballard of the Indianapolis Colts pose for a photo during the press conference introducing head coach Frank Reich at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 13, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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From the draft to free agency, this would be the Colts’ ideal offseason.

It’s not often that a fan base is left in a state of despondency after their favorite team finished six games above .500 and came up just short against one of the best teams in the NFL in their lone playoff matchup, but that is precisely the case with the Indianapolis Colts during the early stages of the offseason.

You might say that an extra win or two in the playoffs would’ve gone a long way in uplifting fans spirts, but the sheer unknown in terms of who will be under center for the Colts in 2021 would be enough to ruffle the feathers of any fan base.

Four starters in four years hurts, any way you slice it.

According to the latest buzz, Indianapolis is currently trying to negotiate a deal for Carson Wentz, but based on the Eagles’ iron-fisted evaluation of their former starter, we wouldn’t hold our breath about an agreement coming to fruition anytime soon — especially since the Colts’ reported counter offer (two second-round picks) didn’t meet Philly’s initial demands.

Whatever the case, let’s attempt to restore the positive vibes surrounding Indy that were present pretty much throughout the entire regular season. How can do we that, you ask? By predicting the perfect offseason plan for GM Chris Ballard, that’s how!

What would a perfect offseason for the Colts look like?

Finding a new quarterback obviously sits atop the priority list, but considering that the Colts are already entrenched in that quest, we won’t delve too much into it. In our eyes, the only way they can botch the search is by giving up a legion of assets to acquire somebody, and Ballard’s been consistent in asserting that isn’t a part of his philosophy.

In a perfect world — and discarding the overall likelihood of it happening — we would endorse trading for either one of Deshaun Watson, Matt Ryan, Wentz or Jimmy Garoppolo. If that doesn’t pan out, nothing would be wrong with trading up to draft one of the top prospects — like a Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, Trey Lance or Mac Jones, for example.

However, if the Colts end up adding a quarterback without having to unload their 2021 first-round pick, they simply have to use it to address their vacancy at left tackle, which was created by the surprise retirement announcement of veteran Anthony Castonzo. If they can manage to get their hands on Virginia Tech stud Christian Darrisaw or Michigan behemoth Jalen Mayfield, then fans will have no other choice but to tip their caps to the front office.

As far as the rest of the draft is concerned, we would look to add more OL depth, a new cornerback, a tight end and perhaps another edge rusher (it wouldn’t hurt).

Now, we get to free agency and the Colts’ projected 78$ million cap space, which should be used first and foremost to sign a clear-cut No. 1 wide receiver. That probably means parting ways with veteran TY Hilton, but Ballard and Co. must have a ruthless approach to this offseason, which could make or break their chances to compete for a championship.

If we had a say in the matter, we’d sign either Allen Robinson or Kenny Golladay to assume Hilton’s former role. Both players boast the full package at the receiver position, as they can dominate possession in the middle of the field and take the top off of defenses on the deep ball.

A receiving corps of Robinson/Golladay, Michael Pittman Jr., potentially Zach Pascal if he’s re-signed in free agency and a healthy Parris Campbell would hands down be in the conversation for the best in the league. Seriously, who would say no to such a move?

After all, the Colts would still have plenty of money left over to add an established pass rusher (like a JJ Watt, for instance) and potentially a starting safety and cornerback depth, given that 2020 standouts Xavier Rhodes and TJ Carrie are set to hit free agency.

There you have it, folks. These moves would really put a bow on an offseason for the ages.

They might be a lot to ask for, but given the Colts’ financial situation and the understanding that both Ballard and head coach Frank Reich have of their current roster, they can certainly pull it off.

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