Colts trading for Eagles O-linemen further proves free agency was a failure
The Indianapolis Colts have an offensive line problem, which is something we didn’t think we’d be saying until, like, 2024. But all it took was a retirement, a couple of injuries and close COVID contacts, and now fans are worrying about what was once believed to be a pillar of this roster.
Even worse? The main focus is on left tackle right now. Eric Fisher will be out to start the year as he recovers from an Achilles injury, and his timetable has been further complicated after being placed on the COVID-19 list.
General manager Chris Ballard figured the team could get by in the interim with Sam Tevi, Julién Davenport and Will Holden, but Tevi is now out for the season with an injury (and was getting destroyed this offseason), Davenport doesn’t have adequate experience, and Holden failed to turn heads in any capacity over the last couple months.
It’ll likely be Davenport starting Week 1, which isn’t ideal, but it’s not the worst thing in the world. What’s frustrating, though, is now the Colts are spending draft capital on below-average offensive linemen to salvage their withering depth.
The Colts traded for Eagles offensive lineman Matt Pryor.
Indy traded a sixth-round pick in 2022 to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for offensive tackle Matt Pryor and a seventh-round pick in 2022. Pryor also has experience on the interior of the offensive line, but he’s just not very good based on what we’ve seen during his career in Philly.
The former sixth-round pick in 2018 was beaten for FOUR sacks in a single game last season against the Arizona Cardinals. He’s started just 10 out of his 27 career games and was especially ineffective while playing both tackle positions. Perhaps the Colts made this move to put him on the interior due to the issues with Quenton Nelson (foot injury), Ryan Kelly (COVID) and Danny Pinter (foot injury).
At this point, Indy will be rolling with Davenport on the left side and Braden Smith on the right side. While that was likely always part of the plan, the Colts could’ve simply alleviated a lot of their issues by finding a legitimate starter at left tackle for Week 1. Why inherit a colossal injury risk when you know other unforeseen problems will arise in training camp, especially when your roster had one of the lowest vaccination rates in the league?
Now there’s a bit of a ripple effect after the decision to sign Fisher while bypassing options like Charles Leno, Orlando Brown Jr. and Trent Williams. Though they all would have been somewhat expensive, it would’ve at least stabilized the two outside spots, which are the most important.
Instead, injuries have plagued the offensive line and the fact the Colts banked on everyone else being healthy/avoiding COVID issues was a major oversight.
The up-and-down nature of the Colts’ offseason is back to a spiral, and this one could’ve been totally avoided.