15 pending free agents the Colts should watch in divisional playoffs

·5 min read

The Indianapolis Colts will be entering the offseason looking to make some moves in order to get the sour taste of a disappointing 2021 campaign out of their mouths.

While they’ve never been big spenders in free agency since Chris Ballard took over as general manager, it’s still wise to take a look at the talent that will be available to the Colts when the market does open in mid-March.

The Colts are expected to have somewhere around $41 million in salary-cap space with the opportunity to have a bit more depending on certain moves being made.

This list isn’t a prediction on who the Colts will go after. Those who have been paying attention know that Ballard has his limits when it comes to free agency spending. But that doesn’t mean we can’t cast a wide net while looking at players to consider in free agency.

With eight teams still remaining in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs, here’s a look at 14 pending free agents the Colts should keep an eye on this weekend:

WR Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers

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The biggest name on the list is also the one that is more like a pipe dream. Either the Packers franchise tag Adams or he hits the market and is immediately out of the budget for Ballard. Regardless, don’t get your hopes up. He’s just too talented to not be put on the list.

EDGE Harold Landry, Tennessee Titans

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The Colts need more help at edge this offseason. Landry will be a hot commodity assuming he doesn’t hit the market. That means the Colts likely won’t get into a bidding war for him. However, he’s one of the best free agents at a position of need so he makes the list.

EDGE Von Miller, Los Angeles Rams

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Again, the Colts need help on the edge. Miller was traded to the Rams midseason and has proven to still have enough juice. A one or two-year deal would immediately boost the pass rush if Ballard was willing to pay a bit more.

S Tyrann Mathieu, Kansas City Chiefs

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It won’t happen. Mathieu will be too expensive for the Colts’ taste even if the safety position is one of need this offseason. But again, he’s too talented to leave off the list.

S Jessie Bates, Cincinnati Bengals

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Likely one of the best players to hit the market (if he does), Bates will be too expensive for the Colts. But he’s such a talented playmaker that the Colts would be remiss to not even check in on his price if he winds up available in March.

EDGE Jerry Hughes, Buffalo Bills

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Why not make Hughes’ journey come full circle. He was drafted in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft only to be traded away before he was properly developed. He’s 33 years old and had more pressures than any EDGE player for the Colts in 2021.

WR Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Godwin might have a chance to hit the market due to the torn ACL he suffered in Week 15. This may help the Colts sign Godwin for a bit cheaper than his initial price and if he does hit the market, he should be considered a top priority.

LT Orlando Brown, Kansas City Chiefs

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He likely won’t hit the market and even if he did, he would probably be too expensive for the Colts. That said, the Colts need a left tackle and he’ll be the top option on the market so he makes the list.

EDGE Jordan Willis, Cincinnati Bengals

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Willis would be intriguing depth for the Colts defensive end room. He meets much of their criteria when it comes to traits like arm length (33.25″) and explosiveness (1.57 10-yard split). He would be an interesting complement with the younger pass rushers in the room.

LT Joseph Noteboom, Los Angeles Rams

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Noteboom has played a reserve role with the Rams in 2021 while getting the occasional spot start. He’s an athletic and lengthy option at left tackle if the Colts wanted to add a cheaper player as a stop-gap.

WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers

AP Photo/Terrance Williams

The Colts could use a field-stretcher with MVS’ abilities. Even if he were brought in on a one-year deal, the Colts need to add to the wide receiver position in some way this offseason.

TE O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Howard hasn’t lived up to the first-round billing since entering the league. He’s had flashes but between injuries and a limited role in the passing game, Howard could be hitting the market for cheap. The Colts should be all over that given their need for upside in the tight end room.

CB Rasul Douglas, Green Bay Packers

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The Colts don’t have a massive need at cornerback but some depth should be added. That’s how Douglas should be viewed if he hits the market. He has some upside to play well in the Colts’ zone-heavy scheme but is also a risk considering the 17 career touchdowns he’s allowed.

CB Darious Williams, Los Angeles Rams

AP Photo/Terrance Williams

Williams would be a solid depth addition for the Colts in the secondary but it’s unlikely to happen. He’ll be priced out of their budget considering they already have one of the best slot cornerbacks in the NFL on their roster. Still, Williams is a talented player and that should not be dismissed out of hand.

CB Carlton Davis, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio

Another potential addition to the secondary, Davis would likely be out of the price range for the Colts. Still, having a cornerback room consisting of Davis, Rock Ya-Sin, Kenny Moore and Isaiah Rodgers would be extremely exciting.

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