Colts missed out on perfect cost-effective option in Kyle Long
Much has been made about the Indianapolis Colts’ ultra-conservative approach to the early stages of free agency, and understandably so.
After all, several teams who the Colts will be competing with for a playoff berth next season have made their fair share of upgrades.
Therefore, it would seriously behoove GM Chris Ballard to either start making some signings or get certain homegrown stars locked up to contract extensions.
Whatever he chooses to do first, however, doesn’t change the fact that Indy has a vacancy at left tackle following Anthony Castonzo’s retirement.
Over the last few weeks, multiple viable replacement options have come off the board and that narrative continued on Wednesday.
Per ESPN insider Adam Schefter, the Kanas City Chiefs agreed to terms on a one-year, $5 million contract formerly retired star Kyle Long.
The Colts really missed out not pursuing offensive lineman Kyle Long.
It’s worth noting that Long predominantly played right guard during his seven-year run in Chicago, but he does have experience at both tackle positions. Regardless, signing him would’ve been a great bargain buy for Indy, as he would’ve given them a multitude of options up front.
The Colts have had internal discussions about shifting either right tackle Braden Smith or right guard Quenton Nelson to left tackle. Adding somebody like Long, who’s capable of playing both of those positions at an elite level, would’ve allowed them to experiment with either player at LT while having Long fill the gaps.
We don’t doubt that Ballard has a master plan (that he’s maddeningly yet to put into action) for all of the team’s current needs, but we’d be lying if we said we aren’t envious that the Chiefs copped Long, a three-time Pro Bowler who’s just one year removed from playing in the NFL, for a lowly $5 million.
Fortunately for the Colts, the likes of Eric Fisher, Riley Reiff, Russell Okung and Alejandro Villanueva are still braving the free agent waters. However, you have to think each of them comes with a steep price tag, and we all know how much Indy is preserving cap space for extensions.
That’s precisely what would’ve made Long such a quality signing. Though he isn’t a left tackle by trade, he would have gone a long way towards solidifying the offensive line in the early stages of free agency.
If we had to choose between signing Long for just $5 million or paying top dollar for either one of the aforementioned free agents, we’d go with the former every day of the week. Our opinion would change if the Colts weren’t pinching their pennies, but that simply isn’t the case right now.