Colts: 3 cost-effective moves Chris Ballard can still make before Week 1
By Jerry Trotta
The Indianapolis Colts are about a week into their summer break, which will last approximately two months before they return for training camp in late July.
Following a somewhat active offseason, it goes without saying that the 2021 roster is mostly locked and loaded. Not only were the Colts aggressive on the trade front, but they made some quality signings in free agency and signed their entire incoming draft class.
If you look at Indianapolis’ current depth chart, it’d be easy to understand if they went the remainder of the offseason without making another move. However, on top of agreeing to extensions with homegrown talents like Darius Leonard and Quenton Nelson, the Colts could prove to benefit from scouring what’s left of the free agent market.
While there isn’t much marquee talent remaining, there are some players who fit right into general manager Chris Ballard’s cost-effective wheelhouse. Taking that into account, we’ve managed to identify at least three moves that are just begging to be made.
Colts GM Chris Ballard can still make these moves this offseason.
3. Sign Jeff Heath
It goes without saying the Colts’ secondary is the weakest level of their defense (and maybe the entire roster), so Ballard should be looking to add cost-effective depth options.
While Indianapolis is flush with options at cornerback, the same cannot be said for the safety position, where the underrated Khari Willis and promising second-year pro Julian Blackmon figure to handle the majority of the snaps.
Behind them, however, things start getting a little dicey. Though George Odum is a certified superstar on special teams, he’s only played 16.3% of the defensive snaps over his first three seasons, including a measly 2% (or 25 total snaps) last campaign.
Jeff Heath would be a sneaky-good signing for the Colts.
Taking that into account, the Colts should give some serious consideration to signing veteran safety Jeff Heath, who was released by the Raiders last month. That move, at least in our eyes, was pretty harsh on the former undrafted talent, as he was really set up to fail by Las Vegas.
Over the last two years, Heath earned a 70.8 coverage grade from Pro Football Focus, which proves he was overshadowed by the collective abysmal effort from the Raiders’ defense. During that span, he tallied 100 tackles, 11 passes defended and three interceptions.
While Heath would likely love the opportunity to compete for a starting job, he’d manage a significant snap share if he signed with the Colts, who emphasize rotation on defense.
Based on how teammates and coaches have raved about Heath throughout his career, the 30-year-old would be a great addition to the locker room. On top of that, he’d add another veteran presence alongside Xavier Rhodes and TJ Carrie, both of whom turn 31 next month.