Colts offseason could be a make or break moment for Chris Ballard

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - AUGUST 15: General Manager Chris Ballard of the Indianapolis Colts (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - AUGUST 15: General Manager Chris Ballard of the Indianapolis Colts (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

All eyes are on Chris Ballard as general manager of the Indianapolis Colts to see what moves he has in store for the team.

Monday was the unofficial start of NFL free agency. Many players and teams got right to work committing to big deals and reworking their roster.

The Jacksonville Jaguars led the way negotiating $229.5 million in contracts, going out to get all the necessary help for their young quarterback.

On the other end of things is the Indianapolis Colts. Indy’s only move was re-signing tight end Mo Alie-Cox to a three-year deal. It was also reported that Indianapolis inquired about a meeting with Deshaun Watson but the Texans shut it down.

Aside from that, the biggest Colts news on Monday was guard Mark Glowinski signing a three-deal with the New York Giants. Glowinski was considered the free agent that Indy needed to re-sign the most— that didn’t happen.

Things need to heat up for Indianapolis soon because if they don’t, all eyes will turn to general manager Chris Ballard and many will begin to question his process.

Will an underwhelming free agency for Colts put Chris Ballard on the hot seat?

Ballard has been with Indianapolis since 2017 and he has received a ton of praise for rebuilding the Colts roster. During his tenure, Indy has made some great draft selections and key acquisitions that helped build one of the better rosters in the NFL.

Despite that, Indianapolis has been underwhelming in free agency during the Ballard era and the Colts haven’t been able to take the next step in the postseason.

In the last five offseasons, Indy usually ranks with the top teams in available cap space but typically finishes towards the bottom in free agency spending.

This is mainly due to Ballard’s philosophy of patience and refusal to pay “B players A-plus money.” In theory, that’s an understandable rationale, but it’s time to ask, where has that got the Colts?

Over the last five years, Indy is 41-40 and has been to the postseason twice, winning only one game. Indianapolis will also have a new starting quarterback next season for the fifth time in five years.

All things considered, Ballard’s fiscally responsible ways haven’t yielded much for the Colts. Although he may be patient, fans and team owner, Jim Irsay, may not.

That means another underwhelming offseason this year could be the beginning of the end of the Ballard era in Indianapolis.

It’s clear that Ballard has built a competitive roster in Indianapolis. Indy’s roster last season had a league-high seven Pro Bowlers and three players who are debatably the best at their positions in the NFL.

However, in a league where teams are going all out for Super Bowls, Ballard’s lack of aggressiveness in free agency may not cut it anymore. The moves he makes the rest of the offseason could determine his future with Indianapolis.