Why the Colts may be Interested in Chester Pitts

The Indianapolis Colts rarely show up in free agency rumors, but Jason LaCanfora has reported that the Colts attended a Chester Pitts’ workout in Arizona on Tuesday.  A couple of things standout about Pitts that would raise some concerns.

Pitts sustained a major knee injury in Week 2 last season, a tear to his MCL — the same injury Anthony Gonzalez sustained.  Pitts is also entering his ninth NFL season, making fully recovery from such a catastrophic injury more difficult and possibly making him a short-term solution for any team considering him.

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What makes Pitts an intriguing prospect for the Colts is that he is 6-foot 4-inches tall and weights 321 pounds.  His size goes along with the Colts’ recent emphasis on size on the inside of the offensive line, and a great emphasis on improved run blocking.

Add to his size the fact that prior to his injury he started 114 consecutive games, including every game since he entered the league in 2002 (before his injury), and that all of those gamers were at left tackle or left guard.  With Ryan Lilja’s release, and subsequent signing to Kansas City, a veteran left guard in camp could make a lot of sense.

If signed to a one-year deal, during an uncapped season, it could cost the Colts organization very little to get a player with Pitts’ experience into the system, and allow some of the younger prospects more time to get acclimated.

Pitts was a part of the 2008 Houston Texans offensive line — the first Texans offensive line that started every game as unit — and helped pave the way for Steve Slaton’s franchise record 1,282 rushing yards season.  Houston’s runs off of left guard ranked ninth in the league in 2008, averaging 4.53 yards a carry.

Whether his wealth of experience can help him overcome any physical limitations that may result from his injury in early 2009 is unclear.  The safe bet is that the Colts were just taking a look to see how much of an impact the injury had on Pitts.  If they feel he will be ready to go this year, they might consider making him an offer.

Knowing the Colts though, signing an aging offensive lineman, training him to a new system, and risking an investment in a player coming off of a fresh injury — outbidding all competitors while doing so — is rather unlikely.  If something is official, we will keep you posted.

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