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Report: Colts, Former Chiefs LT Eric Fisher Agree to 1-Year, $9.4M Contract

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 10, 2021

Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Eric Fisher (72) gets ready to block during an NFL football game between the between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Peter Joneleit)
Peter Joneleit/Associated Press

Veteran offensive tackle Eric Fisher has agreed to a one-year, $9.4 million deal with the Indianapolis Colts, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

The Kansas City Chiefs released the 30-year-old along with their other starting tackle, Mitchell Schwartz, in March. Together, their departures freed up $18.3 million in salary-cap space, a significant amount as the salary cap falls from $198.2 million to $182.5 million in 2021.

Along with the cost savings, the front office had to weigh what kind of return Fisher would provide on the field for the upcoming season.

The Central Michigan product was a Pro Bowler for the second time in 2020 but missed the Chiefs' Super Bowl LV loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after suffering a torn Achilles tendon.

Stephen Holder of The Athletic reported the Colts "are estimating late September" for when Fisher will be fully healed from the injury.

However, it's unclear how he'll perform when he gets back. Richard Sherman successfully overcame a major Achilles injury and made his fifth Pro Bowl in 2019, but Dez Bryant hasn't been so lucky, only playing in six games since tearing his Achilles tendon in 2018.

The Chiefs couldn't be patient with Fisher because of his hefty salary and the fact that he was due to become a free agent in 2022.

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Indianapolis, on the other hand, is better placed to take the gamble.

Fisher's upside is obvious. He has 117 appearances under his belt and has proved himself to be one of the top offensive tackles in the league.

Injuries weren't a major problem prior to the Achilles tear either. The 2013 No. 1 overall pick was sidelined for two games as a rookie but then went five seasons without missing a game. A core muscle injury knocked him out for half the 2019 campaign, though.

Fisher's contract could prove to be a bargain if he makes a full comeback for the Colts.

The position needed to be addressed after left tackle Anthony Castonzo retired in January. The team didn't add a tackle in the draft until selecting Penn State's Will Fries in the seventh round.

It likely means Fisher can be penciled in as protecting the blind side of new quarterback Carson Wentz.

Unfortunately, the downside is equally obvious. An Achilles injury is problematic for a tackle since he needs to move laterally very quickly to keep pass-rushers out of the pocket. It will become apparent if he has lost a step or two.

Indianapolis will have to wait to see whether the bet pays off.

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