Indianapolis Colts Checklist Series: Free Agent Targets

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With the combine completed, the Colts will now look ahead to bringing in a new crop of players via free agency. The Colts rarely make a big splash in this department as GM Chris Ballard likes to build his team through the draft. With the Colts potentially, having to give up draft capital this year we might see Ballard and staff be a little more active this season with free agents. Let’s take a look at some names and positions that could be on the Colts’ radar as we approach the new league year.

Offensive Needs

Backup Quarterback

Gardner Minshew

If the Colts don’t draft a quarterback with their first pick in April’s draft, everyone around the NFL would be stunned. With Sam Ehlinger being the only quarterback (most likely) on the roster in the coming weeks, Minshew makes a ton of sense for Indianapolis. He has been in Steichen’s system for two seasons and would be a great voice for a rookie quarterback and can be a viable fill-in when called upon.

Jameis Winston

With Winston likely being a salary cap casualty with the Saints signing Derek Carr on Monday, he would bring a good level of insurance to the Colts’ quarterback room. He has the experience and all the abilities that are needed to be a starting quarterback. He is erratic and injury prone, but he would bring some much-needed experience to the Colts’ quarterback room.

Offensive Line Depth

Issac Seumalo

After missing the 2020 and 2021 seasons with leg injuries, Semualo returned to form this past season. He was a key piece to the Philly offensive line and fills the position of greatest need on the Colts line. A right guard was the weak spot all season. Seumalo would not only bring familiarity, but he would bring some veteran stability to the right side of the offensive line. This should be the number one target for Indianapolis.

Wide Receivers

Zach Pascal

Could a reunion be in the works for Pascal and Indianapolis? Pascal followed Sirrani to Philly, could he return the favor to Steichen in Indianapolis? He did have a quiet year but was overshadowed by AJ Brown and Devonta Smith. If he could return to his old form he could be a great depth piece for the wide receiver room in 2023 for the organization.

DJ Chark

After a season-ending injury in 2021 with Jacksonville, Chark landed in Detroit for the 2022 season. He played 11 games (starting 10) and put in some decent numbers. Chark caught 30 balls for 502 yards and 3 TDs. With the emergence of Jameson Williams this season, Chark has become expendable and is exactly what Indy needs. He has blazing speed and the ability to stretch the defense. If Parris Campbell cannot be re-signed, then look for Chark as a strong replacement for him.

Defensive Needs

EDGE Rusher

Arden Key

It does not appear that Ngakoue will be returning as Ballard has been very mum on the situation. Regardless of whether he returns or not, depth is always needed in this position. It’s assumed that Kwity Paye and Dayo Odeyingbo will start this season but with the injury history of both, a strong fill-in and a rotational player is exactly what Arden Key brings to the table. In the past two seasons, he has combined for 11 sacks in 33 games.


CB Fabian Moreau

With the unlikely re-signing of DBs Tony Brown and Brandon Facyson, the Colts will most likely draft this position in April but look to a guy like Moreau as a depth piece. A seasoned 6-year veteran would be a great (and cheap) signing for the team. He would bring a veteran presence and some much-needed playoff experience to the roster, after playing for the New York Giants last season. He posted 66 total tackles in 2022, which was a career-high.

Safety Jabrill Peppers

This is probably a long shot but it’s one name to keep in mind for some safety depth, especially if free agent Rodney McCleod retires. The Colts have Julian Blackmon (24), Rodney Thomas (24), and Nick Cross (21) all under contract so bringing in Peppers (27) would bring some veteran presence to the locker room. Similar to Moreau, he is also a relatively cheap option for Indianapolis. He could also play some special teams in a pinch if needed.

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