The 2011 off season has yet to begin, while players and the owners are figuring out a labor agreement there is the challenge of free agency. This year the Colts Franchised quarterback Peyton Manning and will look to sign him to a deal but there are still other needs the Colts will look to address during free agency.
I believe there are two potential free agents that could help improve the defense which struggled all season and was most notable in the Wild Card Playoff game against the Jets.
In Seattle Brandon Mebane was a force on the defensive line at 6’1” he is a bit undersized but I believe he fits well with what the Colts try to do on defense. He often shows signs of quickness against some, which would add to the pass rush that is already dominant and show more of an inside presence.
Especially since Indy has struggled so much against the run, Mebane may able to provide a force in the middle that hasn’t been there in quite some time. Mebane definitely isn’t a dominating defensive tackle so regardless of what kind of pay check Manning receives he should still be affordable.
A lot of players in Washington DC saw their play decline in the installment of the 3-4 defense and linebacker Rocky McIntosh would not be immune. McIntosh is a very solid 4-3 linebacker who would help the Colts get better against the run and add depth to a group of linebackers that ran thin late this year due to injuries.
There are very few 4-3 free agent linebackers McIntosh is one of the best that are available and was getting pretty good before the Redskins switched to the 3-4.
Both of these guys would contribute immediately for the Colts whether the price is right will be the question there are still plenty of guys on the Colts roster that they may re-sign. Players such as safety Melvin Bullet and running back Joseph Addai who both contributed when healthy will be free agents this off season.
This should be an interesting free agency once things get underway especially if there will be any changes to the Collective Bargaining Agreement.