3 former Indianapolis Colts players who failed with their new team in 2023

It looks like Indy made the right call letting these guys walk last offseason.
Carolina Panthers v Chicago Bears
Carolina Panthers v Chicago Bears / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The Colts have had quite the roster overhaul in the last two years.

Especially on the defensive side, the 2022 offseason marked a clear point in the direction of the franchise, as a bunch of the more recognizable players – some who had been around the team for over half a decade – were either actively let go or allowed to test the free agent market.

According to Spotrac, the Colts had 13 free agents leave last offseason, which is one of the bigger numbers across the league. Some of them, like linebacker Bobby Okereke, have flourished with their new roles on their new teams. Others, however, have fared less well.

It's always fun to Name Some Guys, so here are three former Colts players who left after the 2022 season and failed with their new team in 2023.

3 former Colts players who failed with their new team in 2023

1. Yannick Ngakoue, Chicago Bears

The Colts seemingly made the right call on Ngakoue, who had one of the better seasons of his career while in Indianapolis. After a 15-game, 9.5 sack season with the Colts, Ngakoue signed a one-year contract with the Bears in preseason and went on to have a pretty underwhelming stint in Chicago.

He only played in 13 games before an ankle injury ended his season, and in those 13 games was mostly a non-factor: he ended the season with four sacks, the lowest total he's ever had; it was also the first season of his career where he hasn't forced at least one fumble. He's been the model of consistency over his career before Chicago, and at 28, there's still reason to believe he may have a season or two of double-digit sack totals left.

But the Colts made the right call there.

2. Shaquille Leonard, Philadelphia Eagles

Leonard's departure from Indianapolis was as surprising as it was sad – the decision to cut the former All-Pro linebacker in mid-November even came as a shock to Leonard himself. In six years with the Colts, Leonard started 68 of the 70 games he played in, was named First Team All Pro three times, and made three Pro Bowls. Injuries took their toll, however, and Leonard missed all but three games in 2022.

After getting cut from Indy, Leonard was picked up by the Eagles but failed to make an impact – he appeared in five games, starting three, and only had one sack with 23 tackles. He said that he wants to continue playing in 2024 and beyond, but is currently still a free agent.

Maybe being another year removed from injury will help, but things don't look great for the former Colts captain right now.

3. Brandon Facyson, Las Vegas Raiders

Maybe this isn't quite fair to Facyson, who only appeared in three games for the Raiders after signing with them last offseason.

He was put on injured reserve early in the season after suffering a shin injury and didn't appear in a game for the Raiders until Week 16. Going into 2024, he has one year left on the two-year contract he signed, so there's plenty of time to have a bounce-back season in Vegas – especially with the secondary that the Raiders currently have. He only ended up playing one season in Indianapolis anyway, so it's not like Colts fans are too bent out of shape about losing Facyson to another team.