Indianapolis Colts: Buying or Selling Latest Buzz on the Free Agency Rumor Mill
The Colts signed LB D'Qwell Jackson last week after his release from the Cleveland Browns, and then followed that up with the re-signing of P Pat McAfee. Combine that with the release of former starting center Samson Satele and you get a team with three starting spots already affected by free agency.
With a reported $36 million left in cap space, per Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star, the Colts have much more activity to come. So what can we expect in the next few days? Read on to get the low-down on all of the latest Colts free-agency rumors.
Vontae Davis and Colts Nearing a Deal
Per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports on Sunday night:
Corner market continues to constrict - the Colts nearing a deal with Vontae Davis. Every expectation it will get done Monday— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 10, 2014
The rumored deal is a bit surprising considering what we've been hearing from local media about Davis and the Colts. Stephen Holder has not been hearing the same things as La Canfora, he tweeted Sunday night:
Update: I'm not prepared to say any deal with Vontae Davis is imminent or even close at this moment based on what I've heard. #Colts— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) March 10, 2014
So which is right? Well, possibly both if La Canfora is hearing from Davis' agent while Holder's sources are inside the organization. The two camps could have different viewpoints on the situation, or Davis' camp could be putting pressure on the Colts by leaking false information.
In the end, I buy that a deal will happen soon. The two sides have been very up front about their wishes to get a deal done, keeping Davis in Indianapolis. Davis' ability to play press-man is too important to the Colts' scheme to let him walk.
Hakeem Nicks Wants to Play with Andrew Luck
One day after Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported that Hakeem Nicks would be willing to take a one-year deal to prove himself, Nicks clarified his comments to ESPN's Josina Anderson. Nicks also mentioned the Colts in his comments:
Ideally this is what I want: I want to go to a team where I'm the missing link. There are a number of teams that I have my eye on once I hit the market. I know if I went to a place like Indianapolis I would be dangerous with a quarterback like Andrew Luck. I can see myself catching passes from Cam Newton or even Philip Rivers.
Players have already started to reach out to me from other teams saying they would love for me to come join them. I just want to make it clear that I want a long-term deal and I want to be happy. I'm excited about talking to teams and making it work.
Nicks would be an interesting addition for Indianapolis, as the team needs another receiver they can count on alongside Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton, especially with Wayne coming of an ACL injury. Is Nicks that guy? It certainly would have less risk than the Darrius Heyward-Bey signing from a year ago, but there may be better options available.
As of right now, I'm selling this. We haven't heard anything from the team regarding Nicks, unlike with somebody like Eric Decker. That's not to say it won't happen, but this sounds a little bit more like Nicks trying to sell himself to a team with a good quarterback than actual interest from Indianapolis.
Colts Targeting Arthur Jones?
Why yes, it's another Indianapolis-Baltimore connection being rumored. With Chuck Pagano coaching the Baltimore Ravens defense prior to coming to Indianapolis, the Colts have been part of several rumors involving Baltimore players in the past, especially defensive players. Of course, the team did actually sign Cory Redding in 2012, who has been a key part of the defense for the last two years.
Now, as Redding ages and his deal nears its end, another Baltimore defensive lineman is rumored to be a potential Colts' target: Arthur Jones.
All kinds of people, including Baltimore Sun Ravens beat writer Aaron Wilson, NFL.com's Chris Wesseling (via Marc Sessler) and CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora have mentioned Indianapolis as a potential landing spot for Jones. While speculation has run rampant, there hasn't been any concrete reports that the Colts are interested.
Nevertheless, I'm buying that the Colts will inquire about Jones, although I'm not so sure he'll end up in Indianapolis. With Cory Redding and Ricky Jean Francois both signed to significant deals, Jones would be a replacement for Redding coming one year too early. The Colts could make it work, of course, but if Jones really does cash in as expected, he may price himself out of the Colts' desired range.
Adam Vinatieri Out, Pat McAfee In?
Pat McAfee's re-signing is good news for Indianapolis. The punter, one of the best in the league, will receiver $14 million over five years, which is more than reasonable. One of the main talking points in negotiations, according to ESPN.com's Mike Wells, was the possibility of McAfee kicking field goals in the future:
That was kind of the thing I think that was most talked about. Who knows what’s going to happen with Vinatieri? If he gets re-signed, if he wants to get re-signed, however long he wants to play, I just wanted to know whenever that guy is done, whenever that Hall of Fame career is over, that I just want a fair shake in kicking as well.
It looks like McAfee's wish may come true even sooner than he'd hoped. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Colts and Vinatieri probably won't hit a deal before free agency starts on Tuesday:
Interesting name in free agency: Colts K Adam Vinatieri, who is talking to Indy but looks like he's going to hit the market Tuesday.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 9, 2014
Does this mean that Pat McAfee is going to start kicking next year? I'd sell on that, but it sounds like something he is passionate about, and I would love to see it happen in the next few years.
Nose Tackle a Position of Interest?
Going back to the Indianapolis Star's Stephen Holder, the Colts beat writer says that nose tackle could be a position of interest in free agency:
I have good reason to believe NT is a position the #Colts are looking at right now. Unclear which specific players, but it's on wish list— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) March 9, 2014
It makes sense, with 2012 fifth-round draft pick Josh Chapman the only nose tackle currently on the roster. Chapman was a fine rotational player in 2013 after sitting out all of 2012 recovering from knee surgery, but he may not be ready to take on a starting role.
I definitely buy the interest from Indianapolis, a team in need of some playmaking on the defensive line. There are a number of interior linemen on the market who could be targets, although I wouldn't expect it to be one of the Colts bigger signings.