For the second straight season, the Indianapolis Colts have been overly patient in free agency.
While the decision to stand your ground and avoid overpays is admirable, it is again costing Chris Ballard the chance to haul in free agents like San Francisco 49ers left tackle Trent Williams.
Beyond wide receiver, left tackle might be Indianapolis’ biggest need, and Williams has made eight Pro Bowls during his 11-year career.
Needless to say, Williams would’ve filled the hole created by Anthony Castonzo in a pretty significant way.
However, due to Indy’s unwillingness to splash the cash, Williams has returned to the 49ers, agreeing to a six-year contract that could keep him in San Francisco until he’s 39. The deal makes him the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history.
Indianapolis was unable to reel in any of the big free agent fish last year, and it appears Colts fans should brace for more of the same in this season if this keeps up.
The Colts need to kick themselves in the rear end, as they now risk missing out on a golden opportunity to take control of the AFC South.
Trent Williams would’ve really helped the Indianapolis Colts.
Williams is one of the best offensive tackles in football, and Indianapolis could’ve sated his desire to both secure the bag and chase a championship in much the same way San Francisco could. Ballard appeared nervous with regard to locking that much money into one player, and it cost him a potential half-decade starter at left tackle.
The Tennessee Titans are Indy’s biggest competition, and they just lost two of their four top offensive weapons in Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith to the Jets and Patriots, respectively. Rather than fill the void in the AFC South power vacuum, Indianapolis has sat on its hands.
Not only have the Colts failed to improve this offseason, but they’ve actually gotten worse, as the Titans managed to pick up former Indy defensive tackle Denico Autry on a three-year contract. Unless Ballard has something huge planned in the draft, this is not an encouraging start to the offseason.
There is plenty of time left in free agency for Ballard to correct these early missteps and sign some players, especially considering how deep the wide receiver market still is. However, with one of Indy’s top targets having shot them down in grand style, the Colts need to switch up whatever negotiation tactic they were using before, because it simply isn’t working.