While the Indianapolis Colts got things turned around in 2023, winning nine games and being a couple of plays away from the postseason, they still had some noticeable weaknesses. The biggest weakness was Indy’s inability to stop the pass. The combination of a young secondary and soft coverage scheme often led to the Colts giving up a lot of yards.
Fixing that is one of the top priorities for Indianapolis. Indy has decided to keep defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, so the next step is finding the right players to put on the field. Unfortunately, the two veterans in the secondary, and the most consistent players, Kenny Moore II and Julian Blackmon, are both entering free agency. If the secondary is going to improve, the Colts have to get them back in the building.
While that will certainly be a focus, Indy could also bring in some other quality veterans to help this group get turned around. Cody Benjamin, in a recent piece for CBS Sports, projected landing spots for some of the top free agents that were in the playoffs. In the piece, the Colts were named as the projected landing spot for Detroits Lions safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson.
Colts named landing spot for Chauncey Gardner-Johnson
Benjamin pointed out that Gardner-Johnson has proven to be a great fit for Detroit but called the veteran safety “a mercenary” that’s “likely to test the market.” Gardner-Johnson is also seen as a difference maker, playing in back-to-back NFC Championship games— this season with the Lions and a year ago with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Could his time with Shane Steichen in Philadelphia lead him to Indianapolis? The Colts certainly could use him, but he may not be a top priority. It makes sense for Indy to try re-signing Kenny Moore II and Julian Blackmon first. Additionally, Indianapolis has young safety Nick Cross on the roster and the team is high on him. If the Colts can keep their guys in the building, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson will be landing elsewhere.