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2008 Colts Free Agency

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  • 2008 Colts Free Agency

    The offseason for the Colts has already began:

    Colts re-signed LB Tyjuan Hagler.

    Hagler, who has proven a reliable linebacker when not injured, gets a one-year, $1.417 million dollar deal. He was due to be a restricted free agent this offseason after playing the first three years of his 2005 rookie contract.

    Colts signed WR Courtney Roby.

    Roby, a third-round pick out of Indiana in 2005, showed little in two seasons with the Titans and didn't make an appearance in 2007. The Colts also signed LB Kyle Shotwell, DE J.J. Milan, TE Zac Herold and OL Tala Esera.

    Time to see what google can dig up on these guys.
    Last edited by MaxV; 01-15-2008, 02:59 PM.

  • #2
    My thoughts:

    Unrestricted free agents
    DE Josh Thomas WALK
    The guy was worth his rookie contract, but I wouldn't be crazy about re-signing him. Best of luck to you, big guy.

    DT Dan Klecko RE-SIGN
    I heart Klecko, plus he's should get more snaps at tackle as he's a disruptive guy on the field. I wonder if he'll make it though.

    G Ryan Lilja WALK
    G Jake Scott WALK
    You can replace guards. Best of luck to ya on the free agent market, boys.

    LB Rocky Boiman RE-SIGN?
    Veteran linebacker with experience in the defense and at SAM in particularly, though he hasn't displaced either Rob Morris or Tyjuan Hagler. He contributes to special teams though, finishing the year with 11 solo ST tackles, third best behind Darrell Reid (21) and Tim Jennings (12). Granted, Dante Hughes had 10 in only 9 games. But I guess I'd like to see the 6' 4" ginger back. Hmm, I wonder what he could do lined up at defensive end and asked only to rush the passer.

    TE Dallas Clark FRANCHISE TAG ($4.37M), TRADE?
    I'd rather use the cheaper transition tag, but then another team could sign him to an offer sheet and the Colts would get no compensation. If they could get a mid-to-late 1st/early-2nd for him in a trade, that would be great (come on Minny, make it happen). Otherwise, the Colts have Clark for one more year as a weapon in their potent offense.

    TE Mike Seidman RE-SIGN?
    The Colts obviously liked this guy enough to sign him to a vet minimum last offseason, but he went on IR before the season started. He'll be almost two full years removed from a torn ACL injury (October 05), so maybe we should see what he could do this preseason and if he can make a case for a roster spot.

    WR Aaron Moorehead WALK
    I think it's time for both parties to finally part ways.

    Restricted free agents
    C/G Dylan Gandy LOW TENDER ($927K)
    Definitely bring Gandy back, he's the back-up center and has starting experience at left guard. Strong candidate to replace Lilja for 08. I think the low tender is fine, he's won't be in high demand I imagine. A second round tender would cover the Colts' bases from potential sabotage, I suppose.

    DT Darrell Reid SECOND ROUND TENDER ($1.417M)
    Best special teams player in 2007 probably, and he's a servicable guy in defensive tackle rotation, so he will definitely be kept for 08. The low tender means no compensation for the Colts, given that Reid was an undrafted free agent the team picked up, if he signs an offer sheet from another team. To have to match another potential deal, even though it's unlikely the poison pill trick will be used again, it's probably just not worth it.

    I think we know why Hagler didn't crack the starting line-up earlier, he could be better in coverage. Maybe he improves after having starting experience under his belt this season, but he's now going into his fourth and final year of his rookie contract. Still, he's a tackling machine who does a good job in the front seven. He'll likely walk in 2009, but definitely make sure he's there in 2008 with a second round tender (?), as a low tender is too risky given that Hagler was a 5th round pick.

    S Matt Giordano LOW TENDER ($927K)
    Giordano was a 4th round pick, it might be tempting to bait him out there with a low tender. But he's Bob Sanders #1 back-up at the moment, and the coaching staff likes him on the field with Sanders and Bethea in their dime defense - he caught two interceptions last year, he proved them right. I'd let him walk after 08 though, especially given worry about potential concussion issues. Giordano is a pretty quick guy though.

    TE Bryan Fletcher LOW TENDER ($927K)
    Fletch is very good depth who has seen the field in his time with the Colts, thanks to injuries to Utecht and Clark, and despite being more of a receiving tight end is a very willing blocker. He knows the offense and isn't afraid to tell Peyton if he sees something on the field that he thinks will work. Fletch stepped up in the San Diego game in the regular season, I recall. Taking a chance with the low tender, as again he wouldn't deliver a draft pick in compensation, but I doubt anyone will sign him to a deal.

    TE Ben Utecht SECOND ROUND TENDER ($1.417M)
    He's not durable and he's prone to fumble, but he's actually really good in terms of a pass blocking tight end and can do a decent job receiving. He's a solid guy the Colts have developed, and it's not as though the team has developed a successor, so let's bring Utecht back for one more season. If a team is willing to give up a 2nd round pick for him, which I think is doubtful, than so be it.

    Exclusive rights free agents
    DT Ed Johnson SIGN
    Talk about a no-brainer. Ed should get a pay raise, though maybe not a full-fledged extension just yet. One more year to prove the shenanigans are in the past. If he does do that, then the Colts should go Philadelphia Eagles-style and sign him to a long-term deal that's good for the team in the long-run but also pays Big Ed well.

    WR Craphonso Thorpe WALK
    I think the Colts can part ways, but definitely keep Cro's number on speed dial. Maybe bring him in the preseason so he can show his wares and give the Colts a receiver to see snaps?

    New deals
    QB Peyton Manning
    WR Marvin Harrison
    Both need to sign new deals, as their back-loaded years have arrived. Maybe a one-year deal for Marvin, as he'll break the records in 08 and try to win one more championship with a great run, then maybe consider retiring or coming back for 09 on another one-year. I'm not going to tell the man to retire, even if I secretly keep to myself that he's a postseason fraud, because he's done a great deal for this franchise and is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Plus I think he'll be in full health next season, though the question is if he'll still be as lightning-quick or more of a possession receiver.

    DT Anthony "Booger" McFarland
    Ideally, I'd like to see McFarland stay. But given the cap and his high 08 salary in the last year of his curret contract, plus the Colts having much better depth at defensive tackle than when he arrived, I think it's farewell to everyone's favorite Booger. If the Colts could get a late round pick for him, likely from another Tampa 2 team, that would be great.

    RB Clifton Dawson
    Not a definite, although he just doesn't have the quickness, unfortunately. I think he could make an excellent pass protector and short-yardage back, perhaps. If he's in the game, call more north-south plays, that suits his game more. Maybe stash him on the practice squad?

    RB Kenton "Stoniest of the Stone Hands" Keith
    Good bye forever.
    Last edited by Geo; 01-23-2008, 09:46 PM.
    Pugnacity, testosterone, truculence, and belligerence.


    • #3
      Colts won't trade Clark IMO. I also think Clark likes Indy. I think he's wanting to come back for sure. I think Clark is key to our offense and I would hate to see him traded...

      I also lie the idea of Bryan Fletcher returning.

      Of course I will be attacked for this haha, but I like Kenton Keith in our offense.

      I want to see Boiman back also.

      As of Lilja and Gandy I would like to walk um...

      Sig by BoneKrusher
      Originally posted by killxswitch
      Bill Polian is cancer wrapped in AIDS delivered in an XXL enema so please don't expect me to disagree with you.


      • #4
        I don't doubt that Clark wants to stay in Indy and play with the Colts for his career, however his agent is asking for too much. And I don't necessarily blame him for trying to get the most for his client, who has had some durability and concussion concerns in just about every season of his career thus far. I would like to see Clark back, but not at the price he's likely to garner, so I'm fine with trading him or even letting him walk in either 2009 or 2010.

        Re-signing Reggie Wayne was key, and drafting Anthony Gonzalez is going to create similar match-ups for the Colts as he can also line-up anywhere on the field. We're seeing more and more receiving tight ends come out of college, it will be like letting Edgerrin James go because money needs to be invested elsewhere. That's how I view it, at least.

        I wonder if Roy Hall will get some looks at tight end similar to Clark. I heart Hall, he's going to be a beast.
        Pugnacity, testosterone, truculence, and belligerence.


        • #5
          I agree with most of what you're saying Geo, except for offering 2nd round tenders to Giordano and Reid. I like both of these guys, but they are still only backups.

          I think we can retain them for much less.


          • #6
            I think Giordano could draw some interest in the league, with the emphasis we see on safety play nowadays. But you're right, I was being too cautious. That's a total $1M that could be used elsewhere.
            Pugnacity, testosterone, truculence, and belligerence.


            • #7
              Also, as much as we are pissed at Kenton Keith, he's probably coming back next season.

              He still averaged 4.4 ypc in the regular season, which is impressive for a backup RB.


              • #8
                Geo's Top 5 Goals of the Offseason:
                (in no particular order)
                • 1. Be able to run the ball consistently and with success, including in the red zone #1: Offensive line
                  The Colts found some success in running the ball in 2006, moreso in the second halves of games against 4-3 and 3-4 defenses, and it helped them win a Super Bowl. They carried it into this season and were great, averaging 142 rushing yards per game for the first 6 games of the season or so. Unfortunately the run-blocking took a major nose dive during halftime of the Patriots game, and the team was pathetic. For crying out loud, the abysmal Raiders defensive line abused them and shut down the running game.

                  Ryan Lilja and Jake Scott can walk in free agency, the Colts need to upgrade at guard. Right tackle Ryan Diem fell off last year and is a constant source of costly penalties (the Chargers game no different), but let's give him one more season to hopefully bounce back as he's signed to a big contract anyways. My thought is to have Michael Toudouze at left guard and Corey Hilliard at right guard for a mammoth offensive line that will be 6' 5"-plus except for All-Pro center Jeff Saturday. Those two guys are capable of playing tackle, but slide them inside to not only give Manning time to make his throws, but also improve the run-blocking.
                • 2. Be able to run the ball consistently and with success, including in the red zone #2: Two-back attack
                  Too much is placed on Joseph Addai, because the Colts continue a long-standing trend of having a superstar back followed by fodder other teams wouldn't even consider of having on their roster. This needs to end as a two-back attack keeps the running game fresh through a grueling season and an intense postseason, as well as protect the offense should one back go down to injury (ex. Laurence Maroney & Sammy Morris; LaDainian Tomlinson, Michael Turner, & Darren Sproles). We know what Manning will deliver, the defense is improved, now it's down to improving the running game and special teams to be as serious as a championship contender as possible for 08 and beyond. Bill Polian pointed that with emphasis and regret that this team's inability to run in the red zone/goal-line cost them a shot at repeating, and has cost them in previous years, so hopefully it's not a hollow remark this offseason as opposed to past offseasons. Not paying too much for a back-up is acceptable, that's completely understandable, but use the Draft or at least have a better effort to bring in talented depth which unfortunately hasn't been the case for sometime. Thankfully this year's runningback draft class is the best in recent memory, hopefully the Colts take advantage of that fortunate development.
                • 3. Find Dallas Clark's eventual replacement, and maybe another receiver depending on Marvin Harrison
                  Dallas Clark is a very, very good tight end/slot receiver (really, he's probably 70-30 in favor of slot receiver, and I may be generous in that estimation). However he's not a great tight end, and as Polian says, the Colts hang onto the great players as opposed to the very good ones. This team let Mike Peterson and Marcus Washington leave in free agency, for crying out loud. Edgerrin James is the best runningback in the history of the great Colts franchise and he's a future Hall of Famer, but tough decisions had to be made with the salary cap and he was allowed to sign a more lucrative deal than the Colts could offer. For me, the Colts absolutely made the right decision in signing Dwight Freeney and Bob Sanders long-term insead of Clark.

                  There's no doubt DC can do great things and is coming off a career season, but he also lead the league in drops (which was very noticeable this season) and has bouts with stone hands every so often unfortunately. Durability and concussion issues spring up just about every season and additionally have reared their heads in some postseasons to the great detriment of the Colts, and his run-blocking can be an up-and-down affair depending on Clark. I'll take something of a chance with Bob Sanders, a great defensive player in the league, but not Clark. The Colts have other receiving threats they can count on, including 2007 1st round pick Anthony Gonzalez who can attack from the slot as well as either outside receiver position, and the team should focus on developing another receiving tight end for the 2009 or 2010 season as they once did with Clark when Marcus Pollard was the entrenched starter. Hopefully Clark helps the team win another championship, that would be fantastic, but I think afterwards he might be wearing a new uniform like Edge experienced and I'll wish the best for him also.

                  As for another wide receiver, I think the 08 core looks to go five deep - Reggie Wayne (#1), Marvin Harrison, Anthony Gonzalez, Devin Aromashodu, Roy Hall - so it's not really a big concern. But it is a concern if Harrison is a concern, I suppose, and how the Colts feel about Aromashodu and Hall. Certainly those two provide better depth than the Colts have had ... probably ever in Peyton Manning's time in Indy. The offseason pick-up of Courtney Roby is an interesting one, I'll be interested to see how he competes for a roster spot up until the start of next season.
                • 4. Find our "Justin Tuck," a #3 pass-rusher to accompany bookends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis
                  Especially as Freeney is recovering from a Lisfranc injury, who knows if he'll be healthy in time for the start of the season, or healthy to play all of next season. Much like the New York Giants have Justin Tuck alongside vaunted pass-rushers Osi Umenyiora and Michael Strahan, the Colts could follow suit and it sounds like Polian agrees (even noting the Giants' roster/defense). Raheem Brock is not that man, he's made the transition to effective 3-tech tackle and should stay inside, but I do like 2007 draft pick Keyunta Dawson as the #4 DE/pass-rusher to see some snaps and keep the marque guys fresh. Which is necessary, to be a capable defense throughout the season and postseason hopefully. And could allow to be more experimental in finding ways to deliver pressure on opposing quarterbacks, in an era where the passing game is flourishing a great deal.
                • 5. Continue to improve depth, which also improves special teams
                  I thought the depth of this team really came on during the season, to keep the team winning. And the special teams played well against the Chargers, I thought, who have a very good special teams unit themselves. There's still room to improve on both ends, so hopefully the scouting department and the front office continue to do a great job of bring in good talent.
                Last edited by Geo; 01-17-2008, 02:06 PM.
                Pugnacity, testosterone, truculence, and belligerence.


                • #9
                  Yeah Geo, that pretty much covers it all.


                  • #10
                    One thing I want to say: athough the Colts' running game needs to improve, the pass-heavy gameplan of the Colts against the Chargers didn't really bother me. Well, I would have liked to see the Colts run the ball 4 straight times on 1st and 9 to try to get the game-winning touchdown, I would have liked Peyton to allow the offensive line/running backs to try and get 9 yards in 4 plays to win the game - similar to how Joseph Addai scored the winning touchdown in the 06 AFCCG against the Patriots. But hey, the passing game was great on the day, though I would have liked to see Peyton take some shots in the end zone than dump off to Addai three times in front of the goal-line (potential deflection/interception again?).

                    Overall though, I understand the Colts' desire to take advantage of the match-up at hand, and we saw how they passed on the Chargers with much success (the turnovers is what cost them the game, can't turn the ball over). The Patriots do it quite a bit actually, although they don't get criticized for whatever reason. The Packers did it this year also, although they don't have the benefit of the dome to do it in January. When the Pats played the Vikings' league best run defense on MNF in 06, they kept passing on them and scoring touchdowns - that's smart. Heck, I imagine/hope the Colts will do the same in 08 when they play in the Metrodome.

                    Now that said, we can all agree that the Colts running game can be better, especially compared to the producton of the second-half of 2007. And a two-back will help Joe stay fresh and help the team. Can't go pass-heavy in every game nor every playoff game for that matters, there's only so many 3-4 defenses to play.
                    Pugnacity, testosterone, truculence, and belligerence.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MaxV View Post
                      Also, as much as we are pissed at Kenton Keith, he's probably coming back next season.

                      He still averaged 4.4 ypc in the regular season, which is impressive for a backup RB.
                      The team, and Manning especially, has no confidence in him imo. He constantly screws up what they want to do. He needs to go, I think.

                      Dom Rhodes put the ball on the ground and had confidence issues, but at least he could play in the offense. Keith can't.
                      Pugnacity, testosterone, truculence, and belligerence.


                      • #12
                        I understand what you're saying Geo, but Keith is still pretty cheap and a good runner.

                        If we can find another good back, we'll be 3 deep at the position.


                        • #13
                          You guys are probably right, it's might be more prudent to bring the guy back so that he can compete for a job this summer. Maybe he improves, who knows. I think he might have lost the support of the team already though, we'll see.

                          That said, if I'm the Colts, I'm bringing in at least two backs in via the Draft and/or free agency to also compete with Keith and Dawson.
                          Pugnacity, testosterone, truculence, and belligerence.


                          • #14
                            Am I the only one who really likes the Courtney Roby signing? I think this guy is going to make a legit case for the roster this season, he wasn't a fit in Norm Chow's offense in Tennessee for whatever reason but we may have hit a sleeper pick-up in the hometown receiver, guys. I think so. And cheaper than when the Colts picked up Brandon Stokley in 2003 on a 2-year/$2.9M deal, if it hopefully pans out. I think I heard that the Colts penned Roby to a 2-year deal also.

                            Manning makes the weapons around him better anyways, hence why I'm not crazy about breaking the bank anymore. Harrison has earned the right to play for this franchise until he's broken all of the non-Rice records remaining and helps win two more rings for a total of three championships to his name, and Reggie Wayne and Anthony Gonzalez are the future. These guys are big gamers who can play against anyone and can line-up anywhere at flanker/split end/slot to attack opposing defenses.
                            Pugnacity, testosterone, truculence, and belligerence.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Geo View Post
                              Am I the only one who really likes the Courtney Roby signing? I think this guy is going to make a legit case for the roster this season, he wasn't a fit in Norm Chow's offense in Tennessee for whatever reason but we may have hit a sleeper pick-up in the hometown receiver, guys. I think so. And cheaper than when the Colts picked up Brandon Stokley in 2003 on a 2-year/$2.9M deal, if it hopefully pans out. I think I heard that the Colts penned Roby to a 2-year deal also.
                              I went to High School and Middle School with Courtney Roby and I'd love to see the guy succeed. But I think if he has any chance of making a roster spot its going to be as a kick returner. He got drafted in the 3rd round by the Titans because he ran a killer 40, he really wasn't deserving of a 3rd round pick. He did decent as a kick returner and had 1 or 2 really good games as a WR. He could probably come in and compete for the 5th WR spot with Craphonso Thorpe, Aaron Moorehead, and Roy Hall (at this point I don't see him overtaking Harrison, Wayne, Gonzalez, or Aromashodu). His better bet is to unseat T.J. Rushing as our KR, that may get him on the team, because for the first time in a long while we have some good depth at WR and the team likes Thorpe and Halls potential too much.



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