The Polians have a lot of decisions to make ... quickly!
Man, next week is going to be a frenzied period if the reports of a new labor deal and a compressed free-agency period are to be believed. Although the Colts could potentially find some help for their weak areas on the open market, they have a slew of decisions to make on in-house players who are hitting free agency. If you want a little background on the various situations involved, Collin McCollough at Stampede Blue has covered these guys pretty extensively during the lockout and is on the mark for the most part.
Below is a list of the the player who are up for discussion, along with my quick thoughts on what the team will/should do. We’ll look at each signing or cutting-of-ties in more depth as it happens in the coming weeks. Buckle up!
Peyton Manning, QB – Technically the Franchise Player, he’ll be signed one way or another.
Joseph Addai, RB – Manning is already banged up and the O-line remains a question. Addai should be retained.
Melvin Bullitt, S - The Colts may try to add to their frontline safety corps, not subtract from it. Bullitt will be a priority.
Adam Vinatieri, K - Had a nice rebound season and will likely be back.
Charlie Johnson, LT - Anthony Castonzo won’t start; Charlie Johnson won’ t leave.
Antonio Johnson, DT – The Colts need his ability to stop the run, so he should be a target.
Daniel Muir, DT – Should be cheap, but he regressed last year. Could go either way.
Tyjuan Hagler, LB - See Session, Clint.
Clint Session, LB – Session and Hagler’s fates are likely tied, as the Colts probably won’t sign both. I’ll take Session, but Hagler has value on special teams, too.
Keyunta Dawson, DE – Just a supporting character at this point, he’s probably gone unless he comes cheaply.
Dominic Rhodes, RB - Too many runners, too many miles on the legs; Rhodes is probably gone.
Ken Hamlin, Jamie Silva, Aaron Francisco, S – Probably not the answers at safety.
(The Colts also have a few restricted free agents, none of whom are essential. Their return will depend on what happens with the rest of the roster and whether other teams are interested in them. These players include: Al Afalava, Kyle DeVan, Eric Foster, Mike Hart, Mike Richardson and Gijon Robinson.)