The Indianapolis Colts cut three players, then added three players last week. What do the moves mean?
Let's review, starting with the players who were handed their walking papers.
Holmes was most likely cut to make room for tight end Andre Smith.
The former Syracuse cornerback went undrafted in 2011 and later signed with the Bears. After impressing coaches with his play on special teams and corner, the Bears released him. The Colts picked him up in October, but he did not see any game-day action.
Keep this in mind: The Colts are extremely thin at corner. We can conclude that GM Ryan Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano did not think Holmes could compete for a roster spot at the Colts' weakest position. With that in mind, it's safe to say the Colts didn't lose much, if anything, with this move.
Eldridge was most likely cut to make room for quarterback David Legree.
Coming out of Oklahoma in 2010, Eldridge was thought of as a very good blocking tight end. His performance with the Colts confirmed those blocking skills, but he didn't appear to be the complete tight end Grigson was looking for.
After drafting tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen, Grigson said: "It's nice to have two legit, NFL tight ends on our roster now.'' That came off as a shot at Eldridge. The writing may have already been on the wall for Eldridge, who, it seems, just did not fit in the new Colts offense.
Offensive lineman Matt Murphy was most likely cut to make room for center Zane Taylor.
Murphy was was signed to the Colts practice squad in September, and he remained there for the rest of the season. Once Taylor hit the open market, Murphy was deemed expendable. Bottom line: Grigson sees Taylor as a better fit for the Colts offensive line than Murphy.
Now, let's take a look at the players joining the team.
Like the aforementioned Mike Holmes, tight end Andre Smith was a 2011 undrafted free agent signee of the Bears. He spent half the year on the Bears practice squad and the other half on the roster, but he did not see any game-day action.
At 6'5" and 270 pounds, the Virginia Tech product possesses good blocking and receiving skills. This scouting report leading up to the 2011 draft states: "He has the size of an offensive lineman but the movement skills of a tight end." I'm thinking, Brody Eldridge with better receiving skills.
With Andrew Luck at Stanford for a few more weeks and Chandler Harnish sidelined for up to three weeks with an injured knee, the Colts needed another quarterback to join Drew Stanton in camp.
Enter undrafted free agent David Legree. Legree played collegiately at Syracuse and Hampton. This scouting report leading up to the 2012 draft states: "He's a developmental prospect with a large amount of upside." Legree will battle Harnish for the third quarterback spot.
Ryan Grigson brings in another offensive lineman from the Eagles (the Colts also acquired Winston Justice and Mike McGlynn). Taylor was an undrafted free agent in 2011 who bounced from the Jets to the Buccaneers before landing on the Eagles practice squad in November.
This scouting report leading up to the 2011 draft states: "Taylor is a big center who comes with limited athleticism and marginal upside. He possesses the underlying skills to make a roster at the next level if he improves his run blocking." Not really a ringing endorsement, but maybe Grigson seen something in Taylor while they were in Philadelphia.
Overall, I view these transactions as positive moves. I initially questioned cutting Eldridge, but Andre Smith seems to be a good replacement. Holmes and Murphy probably weren't going to offer the Colts much. Legree has some upside, and the Colts needed another quarterback. Taylor's an interesting pick up because of his history with Grigson. Hopefully Grigson noticed something in Taylor other teams may have missed.
Only time will tell.
Follow Brian on Twitter @coldy4goldy.