Early in 2013, the Indianapolis Colts swung for the fences. The question is, did they hit or miss?
Indianapolis made a big splash early in 2013, by bringing in numerous new players, through free agency and the NFL Draft. The Colts spent the second-most money in the NFL this offseason, which was uncharacteristic for this franchise formerly. The Colts also made one of the most surprising trades in recent league history, by bringing in running back Trent Richardson from the Cleveland Browns, in exchange for their 1st round draft pick next season. With half of their 2013 games behind them, the Colts have now had plenty of time to judge these new additions.
The Colts made their biggest free agent pickup in years, when they signed Pro Bowl safety LaRon Landry in the offseason. Landry spent hs first five seasons with the Washington Redskins, before playing the 2012 season with the New York Jets. Landry had 100 tackles (combined solo and assisted) in 2012 with the Jets, which resulted in a Pro Bowl bid. As a Colt, Landry started the season as a league-leader in tackles. In the first two games this season, Landry totaled 26 tackles, but then went down with injury. Landry missed the next four games, and has only totaled 15 tackles (in two games) since his return.
Another free agent addition for the Colts was wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey. After several lackluster seasons with the Oakland Raiders, Heyward-Bey was expected to revive his career with the Colts. The 7th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, Heyward-Bey had not lived up to expectations in Oakland. Part of the concern for Heyward-Bey’s lack of production was the fact that he had a lack of a true quarterback. In a system with Andrew Luck, Heyward-Bey was expected to be a big backup for Reggie Wayne. Once Wayne went down with injury, the expectations for Heyward-Bey rose even higher. In his defense, Heyward-Bey has been dealing with various injury issues himself, but still only has only 19 catches and one touchdown this season.
After playing just two games in 2013 as a member of the Cleveland Browns, Trent Richardson was traded to Indianapolis. In the blink of an eye, the man who was taken just two picks after Andrew Luck in the 2012 NFL Draft, was standing by Luck’s side on the field. The Richardson trade has been raising very heated discussions on both the good and bad sides, as Richardson himself has shown both the good and bad aspects of his game. Still, as necessary as the trade may have been, Richardson’s production has been less-than impressive. After six games as a Colt, Richardson is averaging 3.0 yards per carry, with only 248 rushing yards.
Even though some of these new additions aren’t blowing away the competition just yet, the Colts are still winning. The second half of the season could prove the fact that bringing in these players boosted this roster to better places. Time will tell.