Colts GM rationalizes team's approach to free agency

Indianapolis' roster doesn't look too different following the first wave of free agency.

Feb 28, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard  talks to the
Feb 28, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard talks to the / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts have received some criticism regarding their free agency approach this offseason, which largely entailed re-signing their own players, as opposed to bringing in guys from the outside. The Colts even dropped in some national power rankings following the first wave of free agency.

Indianapolis' re-signing spree included Michael Pittman Jr., Kenny Moore II, Grover Stewart and Trey Sermon -- all guys that the team was clearly high on, and Colts general manager Chris Ballard rationalized the team's approach to free agency while speaking with media members at the NFL's annual meetings in Orlando.

"No doubt we looked into free agency in totality," Ballard said. "I mean, we looked at everybody. It kind of worked out where it ended up being a lot of our own guys, which are all good players."

Continuity is the key

Ballard emphasized the importance of continuity and pointed out how holes tend to emerge when key players depart.

“I think sometimes (what) gets lost is when you lose a player, it creates a void," Ballard said. "So, you lose a Grover Stewart, you lose a Kenny Moore or you lose a Pittman, now you’ve got a real void.

“I think any time you can keep continuity in your own players is a good thing . . . because you know what you’re getting in the player," he added. "It’s always easy to look outside and think automatically that no doubt this guy’s going to be an upgrade. But there’s usually a reason they hit free agency.’’

To paraphrase, Ballard basically believes in the concept of continuity and that a team shouldn't make moves just to be able to say that they did. He's not interested in change for the sake of change.

It also makes sense why the Colts would want to run it back with a squad similar to the one they had last season. After all, the Colts finished 9-8 in 2023 despite the fact that Jonathan Taylor was limited to just 10 games and starting quarterback Anthony Richardson played in only four. It's understandable that Ballard would want to see how good the team could be with those guys fully healthy before making too many drastic changes to the roster.

Only time will tell if the Cols employed the right approach this offseason. If they're great in 2024, Ballard will look like a genius. If not, then the approach will be endlessly second-guessed. Either way, there will be something to talk about.