By Julie Voigt // @JulieNoted_PFG
Happy New NFL Year! It is the March Madness of the NFL. Legal tampering and free agency is well over a week old and it started off with quite a bang for some teams, including former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown to the Oakland Raiders and his former teammate, running back Le’Veon Bell to the New York Jets, and not to mention the huge trade that sent WR Odell Beckham, Jr. to the Cleveland Browns.
And although these big name signings and teams were bringing the month of March “in like a lion”, the Indianapolis Colts were, and still are, very quiet in the trade talks.
The Colts, who currently hold the most salary cap space for the 2019 season, have little movement going forward. Listening to many of his pressers and interviews, it should not be a shock that Colts’ GM Chris Ballard didn’t have any plans to sign any huge names or make big splashes. And there is nothing wrong with that, in my humble and honest opinion.
I very much respect the fact that he took care of his own players that were at risk of becoming free agents. For example, long snapper Luke Rhodes signed his tender. Along with that, Ballard re-signed cornerback Pierre Desir, guard Mark Glowinski, defensive end Margus Hunt and kicker Adam Vinatieri. All of these players played a huge role in the success of the 2018 season.
Shortly after the end of the season, Chris Ballard made it known to the media that he was not into signing “big names” just because they are only known for their big name. Ballard is looking for talent and players who are a positive influence not only in the locker room but also in their communities. Placing a value on every player and having very strict criteria seem to be this GM’s strategy in improving this roster that won 9 out of their last 10 games and earned a trip to the playoffs last season.
As free agency began, Indianapolis had announced that they had agreed to terms with former Carolina Panther WR Devin Funchess. A wise move adding a young, 6 ft 4 in 225 lb playmaker to the mix. A week later, the Colts also added a linebacker. They signed former Kansas City Chiefs 4 time pro bowler Justin Houston, who could be a great addition to the Colts’ defense.
For the Horseshoes last season, patience was pretty much what fans needed to give this team. For this offseason, trusting the process with Ballard and head coach Frank Reich will be huge. The Colts free agency may not give you shock and awe yet, don’t worry. It’s quite possible that the draft will bring some excitement. But until we see the whole plan put together, it will never be known if these moves were worth it. And if they were, perhaps, that will be the shock and awe effect.
The Indianapolis Colts seem to be the quiet, sleeping giant thus far. And I wouldn’t try to wake up a sleeping giant..and I am OK with sleeping in.
Patience, once again Colts fans.
Trust the process.
Talk Colts with Julie on Twitter // @JulieNoted_PFG