5 Available Free Agents Still Within the Indianapolis Colts' Reach
While it seems like the Indianapolis Colts have finished with free agency, there are still many free agents available who haven't yet found a new team. Free agents will continue to visit with teams and find potential employers throughout the summer.
Last season, the Colts didn't sign free-agent running back Ahmad Bradshaw until early June, and GM Ryan Grigson's reputation is one that is consistently looking for new talent in all different sources. So it's completely feasible that the team could find yet another free agent this offseason.
If the Colts are still looking for free agents, who is available that would fit?
OLB Anthony Spencer
A must-have free agent in 2012, Anthony Spencer's price tag (and value) has plummeted since undergoing season-ending microscopic surgery on his left knee last September. Spencer could have signed an enormous multi-year contract last season, but the Cowboys tagged him with the franchise tag.
I've been a fan of Spencer for years and actively pined for him last offseason. Spencer's versatility and strength against the run while also being a very good complementary pass-rusher would make him a perfect fit opposite Robert Mathis in the Colts' 3-4 hybrid defense. Sure, he may not be as effective as he was before the surgery, but he also won't cost as much as he would have, either.
Spencer likely will get a one- or two-year "prove-it" deal, and the signing would be similar to the Colts' signing of veteran receiver Hakeem Nicks this offseason or Ahmad Bradshaw last year. The only reason the Colts would avoid the move is because of their faith in Erik Walden and Bjoern Werner, both of whom are projected to split time at strong-side outside linebacker next season.
Walden still can't be cut due to the guaranteed money on his contract, and Werner was last year's first-round pick. The team likely has too much invested in them to bring Spencer in. It's a shame, however, because if healthy, Spencer is one of the best 3-4 outside linebackers in the league.
One interesting free agent remaining: Anthony Spencer. He was our highest rated 3-4 OLB in 2012 at +26.6 and led the position in stops at 56— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) April 15, 2014
OG Garrett Reynolds
The Colts signed G Lance Louis and C Phil Costa in free agency, and they also offered a restricted free-agent tender to G/T Joe Reitz, but they still need depth at the offensive line for offseason activities and OTAs.
Louis hasn't played since 2012, and Reitz hasn't been consistent enough to say he can't be upgraded upon. So it stands to reason that the Colts could very well look to bring in another free agent to compete for a depth spot—or even a starting position with rookie Hugh Thornton's struggles and Donald Thomas' injury last season.
One intriguing free agent is G Garrett Reynolds, who was an Atlanta Falcon last season. He was cut in February to save about $1.3 million, but he is a solid depth option at guard.
Reynolds started 10 games for the Falcons in 2013 and finished with the second-highest Pro Football Focus (subscription required) grade on the Atlanta line. Granted, Atlanta's line was awful last season, but Indianapolis' wasn't so hot, either. Reynolds' plus-2.8 would have been the best of any Colts' interior lineman with at least 150 regular-season snaps.
CB Terrell Thomas
Arguably the best cornerback left on the free-agent market, Terrell Thomas is a 6'0", 191-pound veteran who spent 2011 and 2012 on injured reserve healing from ACL surgeries. But the seven-year vet bounced back in 2013, playing in all 16 games (starting seven) for the Giants and handling it quite well.
Thomas' size and length give him the ability to play both press-man coverage and support the run, according to Yahoo! Sports' Eric Edholm. Thomas was third in the league among cornerbacks in run-stop percentage in 2013, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), and his physicality would be welcome in Indianapolis.
The Colts still need corner depth after letting Cassius Vaughn leave via free agency, and Thomas could be that guy. However, Thomas did recently make news for his comments on Michael Sam and the impact of a gay player in NFL locker rooms, which may be enough for the Colts, or any team, to look elsewhere for depth at the cornerback position.
LB Marvin Mitchell
Just like every other position on defense, inside linebacker could use some depth as well. Kelvin Sheppard and Josh McNary currently sit as the projected backups to Jerrell Freeman and D'Qwell Jackson, with the rest of the Colts depth players being projects at best.
Mitchell isn't a three-down coverage linebacker like Jackson, Freeman or even McNary, but he is a big, run-stopping linebacker at 6'3" and 249 pounds. Mitchell was third among all 4-3 outside linebackers in Pro Football Focus' tackling efficiency last season (subscription required) and played an important role for the Vikings on special teams.
A run-stopping piece and special teams player is exactly what the Colts need for depth at inside linebacker, and Mitchell wouldn't cost more than the league minimum.
S Steve Gregory
With S Delano Howell on the roster and LaRon Landry playing free safety last season, Steve Gregory could fit in as a depth strong safety in 2014. He started at the position for the Patriots in 2014, putting together a respectable plus-1.1 Pro Football Focus (subscription required) grade in 984 snaps.
Gregory, 31, has been a part of the San Diego and New England defensive backfields during the last eight years and has the experience to step in and contribute on special teams and dime sets. If the Colts see both Howell and Landry as free safeties, they may look to bring in a strong safety to compete for depth or even a starting position, especially if they don't draft one.
According to Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald, Gregory was a "stand-up locker room guy and well-respected on-field leader," qualities that would help make him an ideal addition for a veteran minimum contract.
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