Colts free agents that could follow Frank Reich to the Panthers
With Frank Reich now the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, there’s a good chance that he takes a few players with him in free agency.
While the Indianapolis Colts are unusually deep into a coaching search, Frank Reich, the coach Indy fired this past season, has already been named head coach of the Carolina Panthers. It didn’t take long for Reich to land a new job and he inherits a Panthers team that finished 7-10 in the struggling NFC South. Carolina has quite a few talented young pieces but the roster also has some holes that need to be filled.
Commonly seen in the NFL, coaches like to look to their old squads for talent. The familiarity makes going to a new destination together natural. That’s why Brandon Facyson came to the Colts when Gus Bradley became defensive coordinator and also why some players left Indy and went to the Chicago Bears with Matt Eberflus. That’s just how the NFL, and sports in general, works. Coaches even take assistant coaches too.
With Reich now leading the Panthers, it’s only natural that he goes after some of Indianapolis’ players in free agency. Reich coached the Colts for four and a half seasons. Aside from Jeff Saturday, Frank Reich is the only coach many of these guys know. For that reason, it makes sense that they would want to follow him. So which Colts players are Reich and the Panthers most likely to go after?
3. Bobby Okereke could leave Colts for Panthers
Bobby Okereke has been a really good linebacker for Indianapolis for four seasons. The majority of the time, when Indy drafts a player and develops them into a quality starter in the league, they find a way to give them a contract extension. Unfortunately, that’s unlikely to be the case for Okereke. While he has proven himself as an inside linebacker in this league and has been phenomenal for Indy, the Colts pretty much have to let him walk in free agency.
With Shaquille Leonard and Zaire Franklin already under contract and excelling on the field, Okereke is likely the odd man out. But he will have a lot of suitors in free agency. He could reunite with Matt Eberflus in Chicago, or he could join Reich in Carolina and help contribute to the Panthers’ young and talented defense.
Carolina has a fair share of talent defensively with guys like Brian Burns, Shaq Thompson, Jeremy Chinn, and Jaycee Horn. Adding Okereke to that defense would certainly help them improve and would give Reich a strong defensive unit to start with.