Entering the offseason, the Indianapolis Colts will be motivated to improve upon their 2020 campaign, which ended in gutting fashion.
Surely, you recall they had multiple opportunities to take control of their matchup against the Buffalo Bills in the first round of the playoffs but…did not.
Then they lost their quarterback.
First up on the objective list is finding a new QB, and the latest buzz indicates that they are currently ingrained in negotiations with the Philadelphia Eagles for Carson Wentz, though we wouldn’t hold our breath on a deal coming to fruition anytime soon as their reported asking price has ruffled feathers in the front office.
As far as addressing their other needs, that shouldn’t be much of a concern, as the Colts are projected to have $78.49 million in cap space to throw around this offseason.
With that kind of money, fans should be expecting GM Chris Ballard to make potentially a handful of blockbuster acquisitions.
Where Ballard will really make his money, however, is with signings that will receive mixed reviews among the fan base. We’re talking about the lesser-known crop of the loaded free agent class, so let’s attempt to highlight some under-the-radar moves the Colts should look to make.
Here are three sneaky moves the Colts should make in free agency.
3. Sign Chidobe Awuzie
The Colts will likely end up having to add a cornerback this offseason, with an Xavier Rhodes reunion looking less and less likely as the weeks go by. However, assuming they re-sign slot neutralizer TJ Carrie, they could probably get by without landing a clear-cut No. 1 corner, especially if their front seven is as dominant as most think it’ll be.
As encouraging as re-signing Carrie would be, it shouldn’t necessarily dissuade Indianapolis from adding more depth at the position. 2019 second-round pick Rock Ya-Sin struggled mightily with penalties as a sophomore, which resulted in him logging just a 48.2% snap share over the final five weeks of the regular season, a far cry from his 78.5% tally across the first eight games.
Chidobe Awuzie doesn’t get enough respect for his coverage skills — Colts, you into it?
With that in mind, the Colts should look to add Chidobe Awuzie to their cornerback group this offseason. The 2017 second-rounder regressed in coverage this past season, but that can largely be attributed to injuries and the fact that he was part of the Cowboys’ clown show of a defense, which ranked near the bottom of the league in points and total yards allowed per game.
Putting that season aside, Awuzie has been a serviceable NFL corner, logging coverage grades of 70.5, 66.1, and 78.9 in his first three campaigns. On top of that, the 25-year-old has experience defending opposing No. 1 receivers, which is something the Colts’ current assortment of corners cannot say. Throw in the fact that he’ll likely come at a discount after his lackluster 2020 and Indy really shouldn’t think twice about adding him to their secondary, which is easily the most vulnerable level of their defense.