1. Tight end Mo Alie-Cox
Despite a contract extension that was agreed upon less than 365 days ago, tight end Mo Alie-Cox very well could find himself on a new team in 2023. In last year’s NFL Draft, Ballard and Co. elected to draft two additional tight ends Jelani Woods and Andrew Ogletree, thus creating a rather crowded tight end room. Although finding a trade partner may be difficult for a middle-of-the-pack tight end, cutting Alie-Cox would be another tough pill to swallow given he has the ninth-highest dead cap on the team at $8.2 million.
Maybe a bit unfair to him, but then again he was compensated to do so, Alie-Cox was seen to be the replacement of longtime Colt Jack Doyle. As (now) former head coach Frank Reich mentioned early on this season, losing Doyle’s overall presence in the Colts’ offense went more unnoticed than it likely should have. Doyle was a pillar to the offense, not only as a reliable pass catcher for all those years but as a wham-blocking menace who provided stability to the team’s run game. Alie-Cox was kept to be the next Doyle of the offense, however, as we’ve seen in 2022, MAC may have always been best suited as a TE2.
As far as Player Grades go, Alie-Cox ranks as the league’s 67th-best TE among the 71 qualifyings. His run block grade, which is most important in factoring in his value, sits at the bottom of the league at 44th among the 54 qualifyings. On top of this, his targets and overall production are down this year, and that is additionally worrisome given he has been outshined by the younger talents beneath him. The youngins, Granson and Woods, rank as the 33rd and 43rd best tight ends this season. All with similar snap count and targets, another reason presents itself that the Colts’ best interest may be to move on from MAC as a whole— especially when you consider the potential budding star that rookie TE Andrew Ogletree offers when he returns from injury next year.