Grading Colts 2023 free agent signings: Which moves did Chris Ballard get right?

From Gardner Minshew to Isaiah McKenzie, the Indianapolis Colts signed a number of free agents during the 2023 offseason. Let's see how those signings look now.

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Pittsburgh Steelers v Indianapolis Colts / Justin Casterline/GettyImages
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Taven Bryan (DT)

The Colts did not sign 2018 first-rounder Taven Bryan to be a game-changing player. Instead, Indianapolis was looking for a cheap veteran who could help add depth on the defensive line. To that end, Bryan was a solid acquisition and served his prescribed role.

As a part of a DT rotation also including DeForest Buckner, Grover Stewart, and Eric Johnson II, Bryan appeared in 17 games and notched 22 tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble. Those aren’t eye-popping numbers but Bryan was still a useful depth piece for the Colts. Notably, Bryan was an upgrade over Byron Cowart who was a part of the Colts’ rotation in 2022 but was not retained and has yet to record a snap since.

While Bryan added value as a space-filler for Indianapolis, his relatively small on-field impact cannot be ignored. Even when Stewart was suspended in Weeks 7-13, Bryan did not see a significant uptick in snap count. That’s partially because Indianapolis trusted rookie Adetomiwa Adebawore, but Bryan’s non-factor status must have also been a consideration. For that reason, its hard to imagine Ballard resigning Bryan next season.

Grade: C+