Team checklist: Indianapolis Colts

AP

I was gone for much of last week, which means there was a quick break in our series of post-lockout to-do lists for each NFL team.

Despite popular demand, we’re going to crank towards the finish line this week, starting with a team that has more on its plate to handle than usual.

1. Finish Peyton Manning’s contract.

Could he play for the franchise tag?  Sure, but that’s not likely.  Manning should be the highest paid player in the league before Week One. A deal this massive takes up a lot of energy, so the Colts’ front office needs to get it out the way so they can move on.

2. Bring back Joseph Addai.

The Colts don’t trust third-year player Donald Brown.  Trusting fourth-round pick Delone Carter to handle a big role in a complex offense is expecting too much.  The rest of the depth chart are “just guys.”

We would call this item “Address running back” but it’s just not the Colts’ style to bring in quality veterans from the outside. Instead, they should just spend the money to bring Addai back. He’s no gamebreaker but his value was seen by his absence last year.

3. Get numbers at defensive tackle.

Taking Drake Nevis in the third round doesn’t solve this long-time trouble spot.  Super Bowl starters Antonio Johnson and Dan Muir are both free agents.  The Colts should bring Johnson back and possibly another decent body for depth.

4. Cross fingers with wideouts.

The Colts are deep at wide receiver, but they have plenty of questions.  Austin Collie is coming off two devastating concussions.  Anthony Gonzalez may be on his last chance to prove he can stay healthy.  Reggie Wayne is entering the final year of his deal and Pierre Garcon took a step back in 2010.

5. Find a kicker.

It could be Adam Vinatieri, but there’s no need to overpay at this stage of his career.

6. Decide on Ryan Diem, Charlie Johnson.

Drafting offensive linemen with the first two picks in April was a great start, but there is more work to be done on the OL. Right tackle Ryan Diem is due more than $5 million.  The Colts would only keep him out of desperation.

They would be better off re-signing Charlie Johnson, who can play guard and tackle.

7. Check prices on Clint Session, Melvin Bullitt.

Both starters are set to hit free agency. Session is the better player, but will cost more to keep.  With Bob Sanders gone, keeping Bullitt at a thin safety spot almost looks like a necessity.  Why should we think this team’s run defense will improve?

8. See if training camp can be held at an undisclosed location.

From management to players, no team seems to find the media less necessary than the Colts. We propose holding training camp at an underground location somewhere in the Midwest, so no one can see how Manning’s neck looks after surgery.

15 responses to “Team checklist: Indianapolis Colts

  1. Signing Manning is a huge thing for Colts to do and I agree it is the first thing to do.

    Addai would be a good signing, but I’m not sure he will be the complete answer to the Colts offense.

    I think Defense and WR areas are the next big concerns – WR NEED to stay healthy for Manning to be effective and without a solid D the Colts won’t last.

    Found this list of full Colts free agents, and includes links to their current contracts: http://www.spotrac.com/free-agents/nfl/indianapolis-colts/

  2. IF the Colts can stay healthy, this team is quite stacked and can make a deep run.

    It will depend on how quickly Castonzo can adjust @ LT, if the RBs can produce, and just keeping bodies healthy.

    The Colts were literally gutted last year from Injury and still put up a good fight.

    Need to see more from the D-Line, Hughes, and hopefully Bullitt can pick up where he left off before his shoulder injury to join Bethea as a solid Safety Tandem.

    Keep an eye on Angerer & Session @ LB. 2 players who could make an impact on D.

  3. Items number 1 through 4 should be “get Manning signed”. That seems to guarantee at least a 10 win season. All other items mentioned afterwards are trying to get them from 10 wins to 13.

  4. I know a lot of Colts fans wont like this but they need to start planning for a new qb in the next 1-2 years

  5. The Colts defense was at its best in 2005, when Corey Simon was dominating in the middle at DT. They need that type of player again to shake the “soft” label and stop teams on 3rd down.

    I agree A. Johnson should be re-signed, he is an effective 4-3 NT when he is healthy and shouldn’t cost too much. Muir can walk.

    They would do well to sign Aubrayo Franklin, Brandon Mebane, or even Alan Branch in free agency. A large NT to take double teams and plug the middle would improve every other phase of the defense.

  6. This team is and has always been about ONE player. They want to out score you rather than stop you. Bottom line, 12-4 with him and 4-12 without.

  7. 9. Hope and pray with everything they have that Peyton Manning’s neck heals correctly and does not end his career. This is the second time around on this neck thing. Necks/spinal columns/vertebrae/disks/nerves …………???

  8. Signing Addai is a key. I guess Manning really does need that money or else he wouldn’t do the “Football Cops” thing. I continue to be amazed at people saying my beloved Colts are deep at WR – they are not. They have a couple of guys who can play but one of those guys has to prove he can still play. Keep Session and Bullitt. I think Bullitt is truly being disrespected.

  9. Clint Session is a better player than Melvin Bullitt… Clearly you don’t watch many Colts games.

  10. 1. Peyton Manning.
    How do you they determine his value?

    The Colts traded Mr. Unitas, and I have hated them since.
    They fired Coach Shula. Turned me into a 1-15 Dolphins fan.

    Maybe they send him to the Titans to mentor Jake Locker, it fits their mold.

    Peyton, maybe the greatest of all time, was better than the Colts deserved since he left UT.

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