Indianapolis Colts fans are in a really tough position right now.
As much as they want the front office to make big signings in free agency, they’re forced to watch the team bargain shop in order to preserve cap space for contract extensions.
While the re-signing of Marlon Mack went a long way towards boosting fan morale, it hardly moved the needle in terms of upgrading the roster.
In fact, the only new addition the Colts made coming into the second week of free agency was former Chargers pass rusher Isaac Rochell.
We’re not sure what it is about the Chargers, but Indy has poached another player from the AFC West side as their second official signing this offseason. Per reports, the Colts signed offensive tackle Sam Tevi, who started 44 games for Los Angeles over the last four years.
As much value as this move brings to the Colts from a depth standpoint, however, Tevi, barring injury, isn’t going to be starting at left tackle next season. What makes us say that? For starters, he logged a lower blocking grade (52.9) from Pro Football Focus than Chaz Green (62.0), who was the team’s backup tackle last season.
The Colts just replaced Chaz Green with a … worse version of him.
It’s worth noting that the Colts are currently without a backup swing tackle, as Green is braving free agency and there’s been no evidence to suggest a reunion is on the horizon. In a perfect world, Tevi will serve as the former third-round pick’s like-for-like replacement.
There’s admittedly something to be said about Indianapolis bringing in a veteran to serve as the top backup since Green has played just 675 snaps (or 15.7%) of the offensive snaps over his first four seasons in the league.
Tevi, meanwhile, spent two seasons as the Chargers’ full-time right tackle, starting 43 of a possible 48 games during that span. Due to a slew of injuries, the former sixth-rounder also took over starting left tackle duties for Los Angeles last season, playing 87% of the offensive snaps.
However, experience can only take you so far in the NFL, and the only real reason Tevi was still available was largely due to his ineffectiveness. Perhaps the most damning indictment against the Utah product is the fact that he’ never logged a blocking grade higher than 60.0, which is where you start separating the fringe starters from the full-time backups.
We hate to come down on Tevi like this, but the Colts have zero margin for error at left tackle following longtime starter Anthony Castonzo’s retirement. Seeing as though the front office is aware of this, it’s likely he was signed for insurance purposes rather than as Castonzo’s successor.
Still, however, Tevi’s uninspiring stats will do little to convince fans in Indianapolis that everything will continue operating smoothly up front in the event that one of their starting offensive linemen were to miss time due to injury next season, and that’s the bottom line here.