It was always expected that the Indianapolis Colts were going to exercising patience in the first and second waves of free agency, and fans were initially extremely understanding of that.
After all, that’s been their philosophy ever since Chris Ballard was hired as general manager four years ago.
However, the fan base’s cooperation has slowly started to fade in recent days, as the Colts’ conservative approach has seen them miss out on star players.
The latest buzz suggests Indy is preserving cap space to extend some of their homegrown stars, but they still have more than enough flexibility to make at least one bombshell signing.
Whether that happens remains to be seen, but it’s worth noting that Ballard waiting for the market to settle before making moves is starting to pay off, as free agent cornerback Xavier Rhodes surprisingly re-signed with the Colts on a one-year deal this weekend.
That move will go a long way towards winning back the full trust of fans, who admittedly have every reason to still be furious that Ballard let numerous quality players sign elsewhere.
Speaking of which, here are the three misses that stick out the most thus far.
The Colts should regret passing on these three free agents.
3. Yannick Ngakoue
Yannick Ngakoue would’ve solved the Colts’ need for an edge rusher.
The Raiders have made an absolute mockery of themselves in the early stages of free agency but one move we can’t poke fun at is the signing of Yannick Ngakoue, who we expected to land with an actual contender after hitting free agency for the first time in his underrated career.
Truth be told, we also expected Ngakoue to sign a more expensive deal than he ended up getting from Las Vegas. If you ask us, $13 million annually over two years isn’t too shabby for a player who’s logged at least eight sacks in each of his first five seasons. For context, that salary ranks 16th among all edge rushers.
We’re not sure what the Colts were hearing about Ngakoue’s market or if they even inquired about signing him. However, letting the former second-round pick sign elsewhere looks terrible in hindsight, as Ballard has yet to address the team’s need for an edge rusher.
To make matters worse, the Titans, the only conceivable team standing in Indy’s way from hosting a playoff game next season, signed in-demand free agent Bud Dupree and poached Denico Autry a few days later to really twist the knife.
Signing Ngakoue would’ve gone a long way towards alleviating the pain created from those pair of statement moves by Tennessee.
But here we are, entering the second week of free agency and the Colts have yet to add a defensive end, despite one of their starters from 2020 being scooped up by a division rival and the other (Justin Houston) currently negotiating with other teams.