Colts Authority Radio is Live, bringing you instant breaking news and analysis for all of the trades and signings as NFL Free Agency Opens at 4pm ET on March 12th. Hope you'll join in the discussion!no comments
"Off-season Champs, 10-years running." That's the typical barb tossed in the general direction of Daniel Snyder's Washington Redskins, who make a point of winning every free agency period with big splashes and fast money. Colts fans would eagerly join in the bashing, reminding everyone the key lesson they'd learned under their tutelage with Bill Polian: the best teams build through the draft.
Now, with a new GM, a new CBA, and, most importantly, nearly $50-million in cap space, Colts fans are singing a different tune. As Santa would call his Reindeer to the ready, so are Colts fans calling on recently-teamless NFL players: "On Levitre and Vasquez, and Paul Kruger, too. On Avril and Reed and Asomugha."
While 2012 will always be Grigson's most memorable off-season as GM - it was his first season ever as a GM, he cut Peyton Manning, drafted Andrew Luck, hired Chuck Pagano, saved a child from a runaway bus and put out 3 forest fires - 2013 may be his most critical. Not only will Grigson be doing something his predecessor never did - filling multiple gaping holes during a free agency period that demands you overpay anyone you sign - but he'll be irrevocably changing the roster and salary cap structure for the next 5 years.no comments
The Colts’ biggest weakness going into the 2013 offseason is the interior offensive line.
At center, Samson Satele was a train wreck in 2012, although his replacement, A.Q. Shipley, did perform well when called upon.
With Mike McGlynn manning the right guard spot, and the three-man team of Seth Olsen, Jeff Linkenbach, and Joe Reitz playing at left guard, the guard position was in even worse shape.
With Satele still having two years left on his semi-pricey deal, I see little chance that the team goes in a different direction this offseason.
Guard though, is a different story. None of last year’s contributors are owed big money, and it was assumed than none of the four were long-term options. With a decent guard class in free agency, and between $39 and $43 million in cap room (depending on who you ask), it’s the perfect time to remedy the situation.
The two top guards in the free agent class are Andy Levitre and Louis Vasquez, based on their history and youth. Both guards are very good pass protectors, with average run blocking skills. The Colts have been rumored to be interested in both players, but likely won’t sign both to big contracts. While I could see them spending a decent amount on multiple offensive linemen, I don’t foresee two big contracts to guards.
So, what is the difference between the two? I’ve been asked the question several times by readers, and it’s time to break it down fully.no comments
Even though free agency hasn't technically started (Legal tampering period starts at midnight tonight), we've already gotten news of several important re-signings and deals.
With those deals come critics, especially fans and analysts crying about player X getting overpaid.
It's not new, or unexpected. It happens every single offseason. Some veteran player gets a big-money deal and people cry overpaid. Sometimes is a team picking up a free agent off the market, sometimes it's a team re-signing its own guys. But no matter what, every offseason, someone is going to be overpaid.
Because every free agent gets overpaid.no comments
In light of the Free Agency period starting next week, the following is a run-down of recent developments in the FA market. I've concentrated on the three main areas of need for the Colts - OL; CB; WR.
With the deadline passing on Monday for teams to use the franchise tag, the picture became clearer with regard to potential Colts targeta in the offseason. For posterity, the list of franchise tags is as follows.
Branden Albert - Kansas City Chiefs - OT
One of the better pass protectors league-wide, Albert received the tag in light of the Chiefs' successful contract negotiation with Dwayne Bowe. Would seem to be a curious situation in light of yesterday's release of Eric Winston - Albert has steadfastly maintained that he's a LT, and to use the #1 overall pick on a future RT would seem to be folly. Look for Albert to hit the market next year.
Jairus Byrd - Buffalo Bills - FS
As expected, the Bills tagged their marquee playmaker on the back end.
Ryan Clady - Denver Broncos - OT
Same as above, a tag everyone expected. Anyone willing to give a first and a third for a franchise pass protector?
Anthony Spencer - Dallas Cowboys - OLB/DE
This was a bizarre one - and as a Colts fan, i'm fairly grateful. The Cowboys opted to pay Spencer over $10.6m for 2013 despite a position change from 3-4 OLB to 4-3 DE. Had a feeling that the Colts might've pursued and overpaid for Spencer, so we should be thankful for small mercies and Jerry Jones.
The other tags utilised by teams across the league didn't have a particularly significant effect on our free agency plans, given schematic and positional depth differences. Michael Johnson of the Bengals, Randy Starks of the Dolphins, Henry Melton of the Bears and our very own Pat McAfee were the other players to receive the tag.no comments
On Tonight's Episode, Greg and Rohan discuss the latest off-season happenings, including Collie and Freeney being let go, the Combine comes and goes, the Colts are linked to every free agent known to man, and more! Live at 8pm ETno comments
Editor's Note: Please welcome Colts' fan Jacob Lewin for his second guest post for Colts Authority, his last piece looking at the possible future for Austin Collie. This piece is of a much different vein, but is still a great read and discussion on iconic jersey's. Enjoy! -KJR
Ever since the Indianapolis Colts decided not to re-sign Dwight Freeney, I kept thinking about what I should do with my two my colts jerseys of yore: Dwight Freeney (#93) and Peyton Manning (#18). Both players are iconic and timeless Colts, and many of us fans own(ed) one, or both of their jerseys.
So, now that our favorite stars are/will-be playing for different teams, what are us fans, who clung to these jerseys – wearing them at games, at tailgate parties, while watching in our living rooms as friends and family think we’re crazy – supposed to do?
Can we wear them this coming season to a game, or at a viewing-party? Do you have to wait until they retire? Is it sacrilegious to sell them (at a reduced price)? These individuals are pillars of the Colts of the 2000s!! Not only us Colts fans face this dilemma – players like Ed Reed or Brian Urlacher, certainly iconic images, may likely be on different teams next season. What are all of us supposed to do?no comments
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
A few days after placing the franchise tag on Punter Pat McAfee, the Colts made another roster move to retain one of their own. The team released the news yesterday that they have agreed to a contract extension with Defensive Lineman Fili Moala. The Indianapolis Star’s Mike Chappell reported that it is a one-year extension. A year makes sense here, given that Moala is coming off a knee injury, and it could give him a chance to cash in on a better deal if he has a solid season in 2013.
Drafted in the second round in 2009 to play defensive tackle in Indy’s 4-3 Tampa 2 defense, Moala adjusted to playing more of a 3-4 right defensive end role (next to the “rush” linebacker), though in Pagano’s hybrid version, they like to call the position defensive tackle.
Position names aside, Moala has showed some promise in his first year in the new system, and Ryan Grigson took notice (quote from Colts.com):
“Fili is a big and versatile player in our scheme who has a motor that never stops,” said Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson. “He’s been working his tail off rehabbing his knee and we’re very optimistic about his recovery. We’re excited to keep him in the fold.”no comments
Last week, I took a look at the Colts' drop rate over the last five years, noting that this year's drop rate was abnormally bad for an uptempo Colts team. A big part of that was the young skill players, notably Donnie Avery and T.Y. Hilton.
One of the things that a reader brought up was the possibility that part of the issue likely could simply be that with rookie and young wide receivers learning a new system, some improvement could be anticipated in 2013 and beyond. The same reader (thellamajockey) asked about Peyton Manning's rookie receivers through his tenure in Indianapolis, and whether they showed significant improvement in drops in their first 2-3 years in Indianapolis.
So, I decided to tackle the problem. The only issue is that Pro Football Focus, who I used for the initial piece, only has tracked dropped balls since 2008. Fortunately, STATS LLC. has tracked drops since 1992, all available on SportingCharts.com (the only place where the complete lists can be found, and historical data).no comments
One of the most overlooked units on the 2012 Colts' team was their defensive line.
As we get closer and closer to free agency and the 2013 NFL Draft, there are several key positions that many Colts' fans are focusing on, specifically cornerback, outside linebacker, offensive line, safety, and (to a lesser extent) wide receiver.
For some reason, the defensive line has been glossed over, despite the fact that it was one of the team's worst units in 2012, a big reason why the Colts were terrible against the run and failed to generate a consistent pass rush.
Why is this?
Several reasons come to mind. First, it's not a sexy position. OLB/DE is the traditional pass rushers, who get both the flashy sack numbers and the big contracts. Cornerback, a skill position, has a spot light on them every time the ball is thrown their way, as are wide receivers. Safeties can get lost in the shuffle, but with the rise of players like Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu, the position has gotten much more focus over the last decade.
Offensive line is the one area that the Colts have holes in that is not a "sexy" position, but with Andrew Luck being hit so often last season, it's a position that has every Colts fan is watching closely this offseason.no comments