Indianapolis Colts begin free agency with flurry of moves
The Indianapolis Colts have already made 10 roster moves in the past four days, signing five new players, re-signing four more and tendering a tenth. Here is a look at each of the moves:
The biggest re-signing for the Colts was Pro Bowl safety Mike Adams, who had five interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries, while leading a defense that struggled outside of the secondary. Adams turns 34 this month, but the fact that he just had the best season of his 11-year career made him a must-sign for Indy.
Re-signing nickel corner Darius Butler was also an important move for the Colts. His stats may have dropped off a little this past year, but he plays a critical role in a defense that lives and dies by nickel packages. His eight interceptions and three defensive touchdowns over the past three seasons are also hard to overlook.
Offensive guard Joe Reitz was signed for depth purposes, as the Colts line has struggled to stay healthy for years now. Reitz can sub in at guard, tackle and possibly even center, bringing much needed versatility to an O-line constantly in flux.
Anderson and Johnson are important depth and special teams re-signings.
Herremans is a solid veteran guard who was signed on a short deal after missing a good chunk of the 2014 season with a foot injury. He struggled before his season-ending injury, grading out at -12.5 according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). In 2013, however, when he played the entire season, Herremans received a +9.8 grade. He brings veteran talent to an O-line devoid of consistency on the right side. If he can stay healthy, he can be a huge factor for the Colts.
Indy also signed two pass rushers, linebacker Trent Cole and defensive end Kendall Langford, who will join Robert Mathis to instantly upgrade what was a pathetic Colts pass rush last season. Cole has received positive grades from PFF in each of his past eight seasons, including monster seasons in 2009 (21.6), 2010 (35.9), 2011 (34.8) and 2013 (20.9). He is a major upgrade for the pass-rush-deficient Colts. Langford, on the other hand, has only graded positively in one season since 2010. Thankfully, it was last season. Unfortunately, that positive grade was only +0.4. Langford could be a tough sell for Colts fans, but they'll be happy to know that his contract only includes $2.5M guaranteed.
The two most exciting pickups for Colts fans are veterans Frank Gore and Andre Johnson. Gore will immediately step in to a starting role, finally giving Indy its first legitimate threat at running back since Joseph Addai left, and its best overall running back since Edgerrin James. Johnson will act as a much-needed veteran replacement for departed wide receiver Reggie Wayne, who has spent his entire career as a Colts. Wayne will reportedly consider signing with another contender now that the Colts have opted not to re-sign him.