Hayes: Free agent questions for Indy

According to Reggie Hayes, from the News Sentinel, the Colts are currently facing difficult offseason questions: who to resign, who to let walk, etc. While a mistakes will probably be made, Hayes highlights players who are right on the edge.

Body language and words seem to indicate Bethea expects to be wearing another uniform next season. “I had eight great years here in Indy,” Bethea said. “Whatever's coming down the road, I'll just play the cards how they're dealt. I'd love to stay here, but if not, have to keep moving.”

Other guys who are set to become free agents:

Pat Angerer, LB
Antoine Bethea, S
Ahmad Bradshaw, RB
Donald Brown, RB
Sergio Brown, S
Vontae Davis, CB
Aubrayo Franklin, DT
Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR
Jeff Linkenbach, OL
Ricardo Mathews, DT
Fili Moala, DE
Pat McAfee, P
Mike McGlynn, OL
Lawrence Sidbury, LB
Cassius Vaughn, CB
Adam Vinatieri, K

Let's play a guessing game! First, guys who won't be back next year:

Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR
Ahmad Bradshaw, RB

These, in my mind, are the only locks. While Bethea seems likely to leave, his future – while still up in the air – might also be decided on Indy's plan for the draft. D.H.B. was abysmal this year, and Bradshaw was only expected to stay on for one season; I can't see either resigning in Indy.

Likely to leave:

Pat Angerer, LB
Aubrayo Franklin, DT
Jeff Linkenbach, OL
Ricardo Mathews, DT
Lawrence Sidbury, LB

Franklin is an 11 year veteran and wasn't terribly impressive in Indy, his fourth team in as many years … Angerer has been injured in 2012 and 2013, and Indy doesn't tend to keep injury-prone defenders not named Bob Sanders … Mathews regressed after starting five games last year, despite being healthy. He only started in one game this year … Linkenbach has been given plenty of chances to improve, but like Mathews, regressed this year.

As for Sidbury, I don't see why Indy needs to keep him. The five-year veteran hasn't started a game, and didn't even suit up for the Colts this season.

Likely to leave, but … dammit, Indy.

Antoine Bethea, S
Donald Brown, RB
Adam Vinatieri, K

I hope they keep Bethea, but if Indy's goal is to revamp the defense this offseason, expect the eight-year veteran to be gone. Still, he had his best season in terms of sacks, and has started all 96 games in his last five season with Indy; he was also one of only three Colts to start every game on defense, along with Vontae Davis and Robert Mathis.

Brown should be signed to a one-year contract. The Colts can't afford to keep running after backs in the draft, and if they drop Brown, they might need to. Vick Ballard and Trent Richardson should be more than enough to carry Indy's run game later next season, but I'd prefer if they kept Brown just in case. Did I mention he averaged 5.3 yards/carry and lead the Colts in TDs, despite starting only five times?

Adam Vinatieri played really well this season, and the Colts have no reason to let him go … but then again, people are expecting him to leave next season. Sure, he's old. He's also a kicker, so age shouldn't apply. 35/40 on the season, and 13/14 in the second half? That's good enough for me.

Likely to sign, but … dammit, Indy:

Mike McGlynn, OL
Cassius Vaughn, CB
Fili Moala, DE

For some reason, Indy management likes these players. While, yes, one or two may leave next season … all three – McGlynn, Vaughn, and Moala, have inexplicably stayed on this far. Vaughn played poorly last season, and couldn't fill in for Greg Toler this year (Toler, Indy's clear-cut worst DB. I have physical trouble watching him play). Moala, as a DE, has 3.5 sacks over five seasons. By five seasons, I mean 64 games and 45 starts.

McGlynn has a better case – he's improved a bit since last year ended, and was pretty consistent on the line this year – but again, they seem to love him insofar as management goes. Ah well.

For the sake of Indy, should be resigned:

Sergio Brown, S
Pat McAfee, P
Vontae Davis, CB

Simple; Brown was Indy's best special teams player, outside Vinatieri, and Indy can get him for cheap (played in 30 games for them, hasn't started on defense). Davis is Indy's best cornerback by a very long shot, and only played poorly as the season progressed due to injury; still, he managed to start 16 games for the Colts in a season where defensive inconsistency hurt.

Oh, and the Colts don't need to look for another punter and Pat McAfee is (in my opinion) one of the best in the league. Why create roster problems when you seriously, seriously don't need to?

Anyway, take from that what you will. Shame Toler's not a free agent.

Quantcast