The Indianapolis Colts could be looking at a new roster next year if players decide to leave with the changing of the guard in the coaching staff.
The Indianapolis Colts are close to hitting the reset button on the franchise. Team owner Jim Irsay is hopeful that the team is just a quarterback away. Even after trading for a league MVP Matt Ryan last offseason, the team proved they are more than just a quarterback away. The defense under new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley was slow to start but started to take form in the later portion of the season. However, that may not stop some of the veterans from moving on.
Yannick Ngakoue came over this past offseason as well in a trade with the Las Vegas Raiders for cornerback Rock Ya-Sin. Many would say he underperformed this season whether that was due to scheming or play on his part. Compared to last season, Ngakoue played in two fewer games this season and had half a sack less (9.5), one more total tackle (29), and seven fewer quarterback hits.
Nevertheless, with the potential for him to walk in free agency, the Colts should keep their eye on these three edge rushers. With Ngakoue having made $13 million this season and slated to make $13-15 million this offseason at age 28, these predictions are based on the assumption Indianapolis will stay around these figures or cheaper and around his age or younger.
3. Marcus Davenport – New Orleans Saints
This would be a dream for the Indianapolis Colts in a sense. Marcus Davenport was taken with the 14th overall pick in the 2018 draft by the New Orleans Saints. He hasn’t quite lived up to that hype and has struggled with some injuries. However, when he has been on the field consistently he is a force to be reckoned with. In his sophomore season where he started all 13 games he played in, he registered six sacks, 31 tackles, and 16 quarterback hits which was a marked improvement from his rookie season.
The following season he struggled again coming off a Lisfranc fracture in 2019 that ended his season. However, in year four, he bounced back putting together the best season of his young career. He totaled three forced fumbles to go with nine sacks, 39 tackles, and 16 QB hits all surpassing or tieing his career totals. This past season he saw the field more starting nine games and appearing in 15. He did not have a very productive season only totaling 0.5 sacks, 29 tackles, and eight QB hits.
The Colts should be able to get Davenport on a discount if you factor in his injury history and reduced production. His injury history is varied in that he hasn’t had many repetitive or major injuries outside of the Lisfranc fracture. If Indianapolis wanted to, it could try to lock Davenport up for a long-term deal since he is only 27, or they could sign him to a shorter deal to mitigate the risk factor with injuries. His market value projects to be around $23 million per year on a four-year deal. This is a long shot but not out of the question.