Indianapolis Colts Making Mistakes While Division Rivals Make Improvements
As the insanity that is the 2011 NFL free-agency period began, it looked like the Redskins and Panthers were going to sign anyone and everyone in sight. As the days went on and the names got bigger, it was the Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars that began making moves. The Colts, meanwhile, reclined back in their chairs once again, just watching the madness.
It all began with Tennessee's acquisition of free-agent quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. There was a glaring hole at the position with rookie Jake Locker looking like the probable starter. Even though they have only signed one other player as of tonight (DT Shaun Smith from Kansas City), they have still made a significant upgrade to the team.
The team everyone has been picking to knock off the Colts in the AFC South has also done very well so far. They have addressed their biggest need: the secondary.
Even though they didn't land Nnamdi, they have done very well with the two guys they have brought in. Johnathan Joseph is one of the best corners in the game, and was the next best available one this year after Asomugha. Safety Danieal Manning comes over from Chicago, but will be a slight improvement. Just as importantly, the Texans were able to bring back receiver Jacoby Jones, Rashad Butler and even Matt Leinart.
The Jaguars must have been tired of sitting around and watching this drama unfold as well. They made big improvements to their defense, reloading their linebacker corps with Paul Posluszny and Clint Session, who comes over from Indianapolis. Today they were also able to sign safety Dawan Landry from Baltimore. With Rashean Mathis and Kirk Morrison already there, the Jags should have a much better defense this year.
While the Titans clearly had to get a quarterback, the Texans and Jaguars look to be focused on the defense, a sign that they are working hard to slow down Peyton Manning and the Colts offense.
The Colts still haven't gotten Manning's deal done, and it has clearly frustrated Jim Irsay. Today, Peyton said that he would be willing to take less money so the team could use some of the cash to bring back some of the guys that might be losing.
So far, the only moves the Colts have made, were three-year deals for kicker Adam Vinatieri, and safety Melvin Bullitt. They have already lost Session at linebacker, and could still end up losing Joseph Addai, Dominic Rhodes, Charlie Johnson and Daniel Muir, among others.
If they do end up losing their free-agent running backs, they will be left with Donald Brown and any rookies they sign. Obviously that is something they will need to address, but they haven't made any indications that they are going to make any moves in free agency.
I'm not saying that the team should have been going after DeAngelo Williams, Nnamdi Asomugha or Reggie Bush, but they are going to need to do something other than sit around and watch the rest of the division get better.
The window for this team is obviously closing, and Peyton's words today prove that he is aware of it. Unfortunately, the rest of the organization doesn't seem that concerned.
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