Written by Andrew Aziz of Everything-Colts.com
The Colts have 22 free agents this offseason, and many of them are quite important. Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, Jeff Saturday and Ryan Diem highlight the list. This is what the Colts should do with them. I have seperated the free agents into 3 groups: Top Tier, Middle Tier, Bottom Tier. And without further ado, here’s the breakdown:
Reggie Wayne — 2011-2012 Salary:
Reggie Wayne is one of the best receivers in the NFL today and one of the best in the history of the Colts. He is Peyton Manning’s favorite target and has been for a while now. He made 6.2M dollars this year. He is an important morale and role model on the team, but if they decide to retain Pierre Garcon, his resigning is not really a must. Reggie Wayne has great hands, is a great route runner and is still producing great numbers.
Pierre Garcon — 2011-2012 Salary:
Pierre Garcon is a young deep threat kid who really improved last year. He was arguably the best receiver on the team and he’s getting more consistent. He put up 950 yards and 6 TDs with a bunch of below average QBs, so imagine what he could do with Manning or Luck. Going forward he’s better than Reggie Wayne, but he’s going to ask for a lot of money. Last year, he only made 572K, which is literally nothing. He may ask for 5M dollars more which with the Colts’ cap space is a lot, maybe too much. Retaining him may be tough.
Jeff Saturday — 2011-2012 Salary:
Jeff Saturday is one of the elite centers in the league and even without Peyton Manning he still had a good year. He’s getting old at 36 years old. The Colts really have no other centers besides Mike Pollak, but he’s a free agent too. This signing is pretty important. He made 4.8M last year.
Ryan Diem — 2011-2012 Salary:
Ryan Diem has been a good memeber of the Colts for the last 11 years now, but as of late he’s been a bit inconsistent. He’s the current right guard and the Colts may need to keep him as they really have no depth at the guard spot. Last year, he made 2.5M dollars.
Jamaal Anderson — 2011-2012 Salary:
Jamaal Anderson was a nice addition to the Colts. He had 3 sacks and was a good part of the rotation. He was good on early downs as he got to quarterbacks and he was pretty good against the run. Would like to see him back.
Eric Foster — 2011-2012 Salary:
A nasty ankle injury ended his season early. If the Colts are switching to a 3-4, he really has no use as he’s too small to play a 3-4 DE, and too slow to play 3-4 OLB. He’s in a crossroads, so his return is no evident.
Jacob Lacey — 2011-2012 Salary:
Jacob Lacey really turned the corner late in the season. He’s becoming better and better and with the probable addition of a cornerback during the offseason, it looks like he may move to nickelback which is a good position for him. Kid has potential.
Ernie Sims — 2011-2012 Salary:
A nice addition to the Colts as he tackled well and covered well. He came in and did a great job when Phillip Wheeler was injured. He had a nice impact in both Titans games.
Jacob Tamme — 2011-2012 Salary:
A kid with tons of potential. He was the most productive tight end in the 2nd half of the 2010-2011 season, and had some nice games in 2011 replacing Dallas Clark. He is a good young tight end with good upside and the Colts would be foolish to release him.
Philip Wheeler — 2011-2012 Salary:
A player who keeps developing and developing. He had a nice year this season replacing Pat Angerer who moved over to replace Gary Brackett. Wheeler did a nice job tackling, something that hurt him in the past and his coverage skills got a little better. A good backup who we know could come in and do a nice job.
Kevin Bentley — 2011-2012 Salary:
A depth player who is a special teamer. Not very important to keep.
Tyler Brayton — 2011-2012 Salary:
A good hybrid defensive lineman. A nice addition to the team as he got to the quarterback and stopped the run.
Stevie Brown — 2011-2012 Salary:
A depth player who is a special teamer. Good depth going forward.
David Caldwell — 2011-2012 Salary:
A pretty good young kid who is a nice backup. Not bad covering this year, but he needs to work on his hands.
Jerome Felton — 2011-2012 Salary:
A good fullback who did a nice job blocking in the latter part of the season. If the Colts need a fullback, look no further.
Anthony Gonzalez — 2011-2012 Salary:
A still relatively young player who was used as depth this year. He had a good rookie year, and injuries has killed his career in the last 2 years. He still has some use on the team, and could be used if some of the big Colts wide receivers don’t come back.
Anthony Hill — 2011-2012 Salary:
Backup tight end used really for depth and special teams. Not really that important.
Quinn Ojinnaka — 2011-2012 Salary:
A good hybrid offensive lineman who can play both guard and tackle. He did a good job at right tackle while the Colts were short on them. He could be very usefull in the future as a depth player and a backup.
MIke Pollak — 2011-2012 Salary:
A relatively important kid to keep going forward. He can play both center and guard. He played center in college and was a very good one, one of the best in his class. With Jeff Saturday close to retirement, the Colts may need to keep him as he’s one of the only player who has experience playing center. He also provides good depth and when he came in at right guard, he did well.
Jamey Richard — 2011-2012 Salary:
Richard is the other guy who has played center before, but he’s pretty useless. Hasn’t played at all lately, and is purely a depth player. He’s not important.