Grading Every Indianapolis Colts Major Offseason Move to Date

Tyler Brooke@TylerDBrookeSenior Analyst IIJune 26, 2013

Grading Every Indianapolis Colts Major Offseason Move to Date

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    The Indianapolis Colts entered the offseason with plenty of cap space along with a few holes on the roster, and they've arguably been the busiest team in the NFL when it comes to bringing in new faces.

    At this point, it looks like the Colts may finally be finished making any more major moves.  They appeared to address nearly all of their weaknesses by bringing in new faces, and there's really not much more that the team needs at this point that they could afford.

    Now that the team is beginning to prepare for training camp at the end of July and the new guys are beginning to find their place on this team, we can finally give out some grades for the major moves from the Colts over the past few months.

    These grades are based off of their overall skill, how they fit in the Colts' scheme and how much they're getting paid relative to their overall skill.

Gosder Cherilus

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    Grade: B+

    Normally any offensive lineman getting paid $35 million, per, over five years would receive a lower grade from me, but it's not hard to see why this big offensive tackle is making so much.

    Although Cherilus isn't the best run-blocker as a right tackle, he can certainly protect the quarterback.  According to Pro Football Focus, Cherilus has a Pass Blocking Efficiency of 96.3, which was the second-best mark among right tackles.

    The Colts desperately needed to bring in some protection for Andrew Luck, and bringing in Cherilus was certainly a smart move, despite the rather big contract.

Darrius Heyward-Bey

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    Grade: B-

    While protection was certainly a concern on offense, the Colts also decided that bringing in another weapon for Luck in the new offense wouldn't hurt.

    The speedy receiver hasn't been the most productive receiver in the league, but you have to look at the quarterback situation with the Oakland Raiders.

    From Carson Palmer to Bruce Gradkowski, it's safe to say that was a pretty bumpy road.

    The Colts understood this, but still took a minimal risk in bringing DHB in on only a one-year deal worth a maximum of $3 million, according to USA Today.

    Now, Heyward-Bey has an exciting sophomore QB throwing to him in a new offense that could finally show off his true potential.

Ahmad Bradshaw

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    Grade: B

    If healthy, this is a great addition for this team.  Still, the question will be if Bradshaw can stay healthy throughout the year.

    This was another low-risk signing for the Colts, with a one-year deal worth a maximum of only $2 million, according to's Chris Wesseling.

    Overall, Bradshaw is a good all-around back that was still able to put up 1,015 rushing yards in only 14 games last year.  He is also an aggressive blocker in the passing game, putting some big hits on defenders.

    Hopefully having Vick Ballard in the rotation as well will keep the wear and tear to a minimum for Bradshaw, but we won't know anything until we see him on the field during a game.

Donald Thomas

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    Grade: A-

    The Colts brought in Thomas back in March for a four-year deal worth $14 million, according to

    Again, I'm not thrilled with paying another offensive lineman so much, but after the offensive guard play in 2012 for Indy, this could arguably be their best signing.

    It's hard to notice bad offensive guard play in the NFL for the most part unless it's really bad, and more than a few times you noticed the guards struggling for the Colts.  The offensive line struggled as a whole, giving up 41 sacks, but the guards were hurting the most.

    Thomas will take a starting spot at one of the offensive guard positions, and he'll bring some much-needed support to the O-line.

Matt Hasselbeck

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    Grade: C

    The Colts, along with the entire city of Indianapolis, will be hoping that Hasselbeck never has to go on the field for an extended period of time in the 2013 season.  If he does, that likely means that something bad happened to Luck and this team would likely be in pretty big trouble.

    At 37 years old, Hasselbeck has come in to help mentor Luck as he tries to get more accustomed to playing in Pep Hamilton's offense at the NFL level.  According to Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star, Hasselbeck has been very impressed with Luck so far.

    An $8 million contract over two years, per, is quite a bit much for a backup, but with him being able to mentor Luck, this turns out to be a pretty average signing.

Greg Toler

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    Grade: B-

    The Colts needed a bit of help in the secondary, and they were able to bring in Toler from the Arizona Cardinals.

    This isn't a bad addition to this team, as Toler can certainly make plays on the ball.  He was able to return an interception 102 yards for a touchdowns back in December against the Detroit Lions.

    Unfortunately for Toler, he's only played in 38 games since the start of the 2009 season.  He's been unable to play a full season, and that could be an issue this year as well.

    Still, another cornerback to potentially play opposite of Vontae Davis could make this a respectable secondary.

Erik Walden

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    Grade: C-

    This is a pick I continue to go back and forth on, but at the end of the day, he was a player that got a big contract despite being an inconsistent player during his time with the Green Bay Packers.

    The four-year deal worth $16 million, reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Bob McGinn, seems pretty big for a player that was completely manhandled by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2012 NFC divisional playoff game, but he's not as bad of a player as that game showed.

    Walden can make plays and help set the edge in a 3-4 defense, but he needs to prove that he can do it consistently.  If he does that, this was a decent signing, but until he's proved that he can do just that, this will be a bit of a head scratcher.

LaRon Landry

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    Grade: B-

    I don't want to say anything negative about Mr. Landry, because I'm afraid that he might hurt me. 

    This guy is absolutely jacked, but he's also a pretty good football player.  He may struggle against the pass at times, but he's an excellent run-stuffer.  He was able to put up 100 combined tackles last season along with four forced fumbles.

    Landry was able to stay healthy throughout the 2012 season, but injuries have been a problem for him in the past.  Over the 2010 and 2011 seasons, Landry missed a total of 15 games.

    Another year like the last one and fans might start calling Landry "Bob Sanders Version 2.0", but they will need to see if he can stay on the field and continue making big plays.

Ricky Jean Francois and Aubrayo Franklin

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    Grade: C+

    I'm putting these two guys together since they essentially play the same position as interior linemen, but both of these guys can come in and make a positive impact on this 3-4 defense.

    The defensive line will likely feature plenty of rotations with players constantly coming in and out, and having two veteran presences like these guys on the team can certainly help.  They can both also help mentor Josh Chapman, as fans eagerly wait for his first NFL game after being taken in the 2012 NFL draft and missing all of last season.

    The starters have yet to be determined, but no one is questioning if these two guys will be on the field in 2013.


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