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Old 01-09-2020, 03:05 PM
Pez Pez is offline
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Default Holder's top 10 Free Agents

Stephen Holder dropped this on the Athletic today. These are the Top 10 free agents to colts should have a look at. Most of these are pie-in-the sky kind of things, but man I would sure love to see us pull the trigger on a veteran DT or OT.

Amari Cooper, WR, Cowboys, 25, $$$$
Do I see this happening? Not really. The price will be steep. But acquiring Cooper is one way to unquestionably solidify this unit that’s been too thin for too long. The Colts were beset by injuries here in 2019, but they’re expecting the return of Parris Campbell and Reece Fountain. But neither of those players has proven very much. Even if they stay healthy, you’re still banking on unproven talent. We expect the Colts to address wide receiver in the draft – which has a wealth of talent at the position – but signing a young free agent with game-breaking explosiveness would immediately inject some much-needed life into an offense that too often in 2019 was lifeless.

Chris Jones, DT, Chiefs, 25, $$$$
Conventional wisdom would tell us Jones will never make it to free agency. Then again, even after a brief contract holdout last summer and subsequent talk of working out an extension, Jones remains unsigned. So, unless and until the Chiefs lock up this gap-destroying defensive tackle, he belongs on this list. Ballard spoke last of the need to create more interior pass rush.

“We’ve got to be able to get some more interior pressure,” Ballard said. “The 3-technique (defensive tackle) drives this thing.”

What better way to do that than by adding a guy who has 24.5 sacks in the past two seasons? Again, don’t get your hopes up here. But we cannot emphasize how much of a monster addition a player like this would be for any defense. This situation feels destined to end with the franchise tag being applied, but the Chiefs have made some curious personnel moves on defense of late. Anything is possible.

Shaq Barrett, edge, Buccaneers, 27, $$$
The toughest part of evaluating Barrett’s value is determining what to make of the breakout season he just had. His 19.5 sacks are eye-popping, but he’d never had more than 5.5 sacks in his previous four seasons. Still, in this era of high-octane passing attacks, teams are willing to pay exorbitant prices for guys who can sack quarterbacks. Barrett can do that.

Jadeveon Clowney, edge, Seahawks, 26, $$$
This is a player to watch this offseason. The Colts are already heavily invested at defensive end, given the $23 million they’re paying to Justin Houston over two seasons. But Houston remains a temporary solution who is only signed through 2020. Clowney could offer a team a long-term option on the edge, giving that he plays every down. And there’s a good chance that team won’t be the Seahawks. Seattle cannot apply the franchise tag as a result of an agreement made with Clowney after his trade from Houston before the season. He’s either going to get a rich, long-term deal in Seattle or someplace else. But he’s going to get it.

James Bradberry, CB, Panthers, 26, $$$
The Colts haven’t shown much intention when it comes to free-agent corners in recent seasons. But that’s because they seemed content to roll with the investments they have made at the position in the NFL Draft. The problem is, the late-season results that saw defensive backs give up a rash of deep passing plays calls much of this into question. This still doesn’t seem like a move the Colts would make, but here’s a player who can shadow elite receivers. If the price stays reasonable, maybe the Colts would entertain this move. On a related note, it will be interesting to see whether they retain Pierre Desir, who had a disappointing season in terms of health and performance.

Byron Jones, CB, Cowboys, 27, $$$
The Colts will have an in-house authority on Jones seeing how their defensive coordinator – Matt Eberflus – was a longtime Cowboys assistant. Jones, a former safety, possesses position flexibility, which is a trait the Colts often look for in their defensive backs. Again, how aggressively the Colts want to pursue defensive backs in free agency remains to be seen. But if they are interested, there are viable options.

D.J. Humphries, OT, Cardinals, 26, $$
When a team finds itself in the market for free-agent offensive tackles, they enter knowing concessions have to be made due to the pool of talent not being very deep. The Colts could be in that situation if left tackle Anthony Castonzo retires. An inconsistent player like Humphries is about as well as you can expect to do because teams don’t let talented left tackles escape. The Colts’ situation at left tackle is nothing like their quarterback situation was last year. When Andrew Luck retired, the Colts knew Jacoby Brissett was in place. There isn’t a viable starter behind Castonzo, and that’s a problem.

Jordan Phillips, DT, 27, Bills, $$
Here’s another three-technique who will appeal to teams looking for an interior pass rusher. Phillips isn’t an ideal fit for the Colts at 341 pounds. They prefer quicker and more svelte body types at this spot. But if you watch Phillips play, he doesn’t play like a man of that size. Projecting a price tag here is tough. Phillips was seen as an underperformer until his breakout in 2019, when he recorded 9.5 sacks. How far will that drive the price up? Time will tell.

Hunter Henry, TE, Chargers, 25, $$
The expected departure of Eric Ebron makes this position one of need for the Colts. Given how much they use personnel groupings with multiple tight ends, the Colts will need at least three legitimate options here. The presence of Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox leaves the door open for a player like Hunter, who can stretch the defense. There will be durability questions, but the talent is obvious. Whether it happens in free agency or the draft, you can almost bet the Colts will spend resources on a tight end this offseason. The position has just too big a role in coach Frank Reich’s offense for that to not happen.

Maliek Collins, DT, Cowboys, 24, $$
Here’s a player who could appeal for two reasons. First, he’ll be well-versed in the Colts’ defensive scheme, which is somewhat modeled after the Cowboys’ system. Collins also provides an active interior rusher, which is the area in which the Colts are looking for impact. At 24, he still could have a significant upside. He’s also played 61 of a possible 64 games in his career.
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