December 30, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers nose tackle Ricky Jean Francois (95) sacks Arizona Cardinals quarterback Brian Hoyer (6) during the third quarter at Candlestick Park. The 49ers defeated the Cardinals 27-13. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Shortly after 3:00 PM Eastern Time, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported that the Colts had signed former 49ers Defensive Lineman Ricky Jean-Francois (6-3, 295, 26 years old) to a four year, $22 million deal. Francois is listed as a defensive tackle, but has played both tackle and end for San Francisco, where both 3-4 ends are listed as tackles.
According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Colts were competing with the Titans, Saints, and Philadelphia, which was Francois’s first free agent visit. Some believed the versatile lineman would finish his free agent rounds before signing anywhere, but alas, the Colts won out before he could leave Indy.no comments no comments
One of the earlier Colts moves on Tuesday evening was to sign former Arizona Cardinals cornerback Greg Toler to start the rebuild of the defensive backfield - a unit which descended to atrocious levels of play last year. He signed a 3-year, $15m deal to in theory join Vontae Davis as a starter. In keeping with our rundown on the Colts acquisitions thus far, here's the lowdown on Greg Toler.
An initial look at Toler doesn't yield a great deal of information - his 6'0, 193lb frame is fairly typical for the position, though he'll undoubtedly provide a clear length/reach upgrade on the now-departed Jerraud Powers (ironically enough, to Arizona). This was one of my primary issues with Powers - he couldn't easily match up with receivers in excess of 6'2 and expect to win in man coverage - Toler provides a more physical presence.
I've chosen three plays to highlight Toler's game - I know it's a small sample size. The fact is that his highlights (5 career INTs) weren't particularly helpful in terms of camera angles and the plays themselves being bad quarterbacking as opposed to great work on the back end.
I'll start with the most recent play I've chosen from Toler - taken from the Cardinals vs. Lions game in Week 15 of 2012. It's a 4th and 2 from the ARZ 2.
Firstly - context. It's a 4th and 2 with less than 6 minutes to go in a 2 score game. Toler is lined up at RCB opposite Kris Durham, Matthew Stafford's own version of Brandon Stokley. It's straight man coverage across the board.
Dec. 2, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets free safety LaRon Landry (30) intercepts a pass intended for Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd (15) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
The Colts have inked a four-year contract with Pro-Bowl Safety LaRon Landry (6-0, 220 pounds, 28 years old). The New York Jets had wanted to retain the 28-year-old tackle machine but couldn’t find a way to fit him under the salary cap. Landry’s deal is worth a reported $24 million with $14 million guaranteed according to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora), who reported the deal on Twitter around 11:30 Wednesday night. Mr. Grigson, it appears, has been working late.
With Landry, Indianapolis has vastly upgraded the safety position without breaking the bank. Landry has made a name for himself as both a solid tackler and a punishing hitter. He is at his best against the run but can get out and cover well for such a big guy.no comments no comments
I had this whole waves vs. ripples analogy ready to go but then I saw that Indy Star had already beaten me to the punch. In all seriousness, I know that many of us expected some big marquee names to be inked yesterday, what with the veritable treasure trove of money we had burning a hole in Irsay’s man cave (and our eccentric owner’s tweets about suitcases full of 100 million dollars did little to lessen that expectation), but I think it’s notable and, dare I say, laudable even that Ryan Grigson practiced what he has been preaching all week and didn’t spend money just to spend it.
While our flush cohorts, Cleveland and Miami, were handing out 8 figure salaries like bong hits at Woodstock, Grigson kept a level head and made some solid under-the-radar signings that will both help this team get better and not cripple the franchise should one or more of them not pan out (I admit, I don’t understand paying Erik Walden $16 million, but that’s someone else’s problem).no comments