Final grades for every Colts free agent signing from 2022
One year later, let’s take a look at how the 2022 free agent acquisitions for the Indianapolis Colts faired in the 2022 season.
Now that the 2022 NFL season is over for the Indianapolis Colts, let’s take a look back at some of the moves made last offseason that impacted this headache of a season. Prior to the beginning of the year, the Colts made quite a few moves in free agency that had mixed results. The underlying factor of not being aggressive towards available players was certainly present and clearly showed why finding low-risk, low-reward guys is not the move.
Learning from the mistakes made and building on the positives is something Colts general manager Chris Ballard has to review, and ultimately learn from as Indianapolis begins a, hopefully, minimum rebuild of talent. An analysis of the players that were brought in during free agency a season ago should be the first step in seeing where the roster is moving forward, so let’s take a look.
Grading players Colts re-signed in 2022
Zaire Franklin, Linebacker, A
Possibly the best move the Colts made was re-signing this special team stud turned tackling machine. Formerly a standout special teams guy, Zaire Franklin made the most of his opportunity with All-Pro linebacker Shaquille Leonard missing a substantial amount of time with a back injury. Franklin set a franchise record in tackles on the season with 167, passing Leonard. Add on three sacks, three forced fumbles, and six pass deflections and you have a linebacker of the future to pair with the All-Pro. This is ideal, as fellow LB Bobby Okereke is set to be a free agent this offseason.
Tyquan Lewis, Defensive End, C-
It doesn’t seem right to give Lewis a grade below a C. In back-to-back
years, Tyquan, who signed a one-year prove-it deal, has suffered season-ending injuries that capped his potential. Tough luck for a really solid player with a good upside. Lewis may have met his ends in Indy as a change of scenery may be beneficial.
Mo Alie-Cox, Tight End, D+
After Jack Doyle expectedly retired following the end of the 2021 season there was a void at tight end. Re-signing Alie-Cox to a three-year contract with an annual salary of $6 Million is still a head-scratching move that had lower than mid results. On the season, he compiled a whopping 19 receptions for 189 yards and three scores. The position group is now crowded with younger, more explosive talent in Jelani Woods and Kylen Granson, Alie-Cox should be on the bubble as a surprise cut or trade candidate.
Matt Pryor, Offensive Line, D-
Just awful. Pryor entered the year as the internal favorite to be the
team’s No. 1 left tackle. Once he stepped on the field it was
expeditiously determined as a mistake.