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.