Colts take huge risk by signing Steelers outcast Sean Davis

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 09: Sean Davis #21 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 09: Sean Davis #21 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Indianapolis Colts remain steadfast in their desire to spend as little money as possible this offseason, as Chris Ballard continues to shop at the thrift store for potential reinforcements. That was further proven by the signing of safety Sean Davis on Thursday.

Davis, a former second-round pick out of Maryland, spent the last five seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, though his performance on the job could generously be described as mixed.

Davis took on a backup role with Pittsburgh in 2020 after years as the starter, and his value in the NFL has never been lower. Looking for a reclamation project, Ballard used some of the Colts’ cap space to reel him in.

Davis agreed to a one-year contract with Indianapolis, hoping that he could perhaps replace Malik Hooker in the secondary and have a similar resurgence to that of Xavier Rhodes after he left Minnesota. Is there enough gas left in the tank for Davis to get back on the right track with the Colts?

Sean Davis is a very risky signing for the Colts.

Davis showed some promise early in his Pittsburgh career, but there’s a reason the Steelers had one of the worst pass defenses in the league for years. Davis was a part of the reason why. This was exemplified in the postseason, where Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski would routinely pick Davis apart.

After Minkah Fitzpatrick replaced him in 2019, Pittsburgh’s pass defense instantly became one of the league’s best. Davis signed a one-year deal with the Washington Football Team last year, but he was cut before the season and crawled back to Pittsburgh.

Merely adequate as a tackler and run defender, the Colts are banking on Matt Eberflus and their defensive coaching staff to put Davis in a position where his athletic ability can help him cover ground when defending against the pass. While Eberflus did help make Julian Blackmon one of the best rookies in the game, it might be a bit unreasonable to expect him to become a star.

Davis could’ve been a tremendous safety in Pittsburgh, but his cavalier style of play made him Public Enemy No. 1 with the Steelers. Davis has enough interesting traits in his physical profile to warrant a team with enough depth to take a punt on him, but the Colts could get burned if Davis has to take on a heavy workload early in the season.