Offseason priorities: Indianapolis Colts

Peyton Manning may seem like the only Colts player that matters, but Indianapolis has plenty of big questions to answer this year in free agency, whenever it hits.

Here’s a look at the team’s offseason priorities, focusing mostly on players likely headed for unrestricted free agency.

We’ve already tackled the Seahawks, Packers, Steelers, and Falcons.

The Big One: Peyton Manning.

We’ve covered this topic plenty.  The only question is whether Manning gets his long-term deal before or after March 4.  In the meantime, he has the highest franchise tag number in league history: $23 million.

The Key Ingredients: Running back Joseph Addai, linebacker Clint Session, and safety Melvin Bullitt.

Addai’s value to the Colts was realized by his absence.  Donald Brown doesn’t seem ready to take on a bigger role and Addai is great in the passing game.  A rookie may make sense if Addai is too costly.

Session is a valuable and underrated playmaker.  There is a line of thinking the Colts are prepared to let him walk because they have Pat Angerer and Kavell Conner around.  Letting linebackers walk is usually what the Colts do.

Bullitt is annual Bob Sanders insurance, and probably wouldn’t cost much to keep.

Role Players: Kicker Adam Vinatieri, tackle Charlie Johnson, defensive tackle Antonio Johnson, and defensive tackle Dan Muir.

Vinatieri is a big name, but he’s ultimately replaceable.  Johnson started 15 games at left tackle last year and only makes sense to bring back as a backup.  Johnson and Muir were Super Bowl starters, but Muir fell off in 2010.  Johnson is more likely to return.

Dealing with injured players

The team is trying to reduce safety Bob Sanders’ salary to bring him back.  Wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez will have to show he’s healthy to make the team again.  [UPDATE: Sanders was released.]

Final take

The Colts are in great shape to improve without doing a thing this offseason because they had 17 players on injured reserve.  Dallas Clark, Kelvin Hayden, Austin Collie, and Jerraud Powers are the key guys they will get back.

This is one of the teams that could get a competitive advantage from a lockout because of their continuity.

7 responses to “Offseason priorities: Indianapolis Colts

  1. Can you please explain to me how it isn’t even close that Addai is the obvious answer to the poll? Is it the fact that the Colts have been the 29th, 32nd, and 31st best rushing team with him over the last 3 seasons?

  2. I say Session. Joe is easily replaceable in the draft and Joe is a split time tailback.

    When Session is in the game at WLB the defense is so much more explosive. Angerer is adequate but his coverage skills are lacking and he’s more suited as a strong side or middle LB.

    With Brackett getting older (& slower) a need for a playmaker at LB is overwhelming and Session is that guy.

  3. Session, awful in coverage and inconsistent against the run. He can leave. Peyton, Addai, CJ, Vinatieri and a few vet min guys need to be re-signed.

  4. I went with Bullitt.. Every game I watch he plays well. Hi
    And Bethea make an excellent combo. Second I would say Addai. The colts are usually at the bottom of the league in rushing, but they never run the ball. Plus Donald Brown was not very good in his first 2 yrs.(especially for a 1st round pick yikes!)

  5. Well, if the lack of receiving options was their only problem, then yes the Colts would be in great shape to make a big run next year. Unfortunately for the Colts, they also have issues with the O-line and various positions on the defense.

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