COMMENTARY | The 2012 season for the Indianapolis Colts may be over, but the team is already reloading for next year, signing 10 players to reserve/future contracts.
What is a reserve/future contract? It's a way for NFL teams to sign players in advance of the official start date of the next season. The 2013 will officially begin March 12. Those players who are not on any active roster at the end of the season can be signed to reserve/future contracts. They remain in reserve status until the next season officially begins and are usually acquired without signing bonuses and for the league minimum salary.
These are prospects--potential diamonds in the rough--who have piqued a team's interest.
Running back Alvester Alexander, guard Justin Anderson, cornerback Marshay Green, quarterback Chandler Harnish, tight end Dominique Jones, linebacker Jake Killeen, linebacker Shawn Loiseau, running back Davin Meggett, linebacker Monte Simmons, and offensive tackle Lee Ziemba are now all members of the Colts.
Of this group, Harnish and Anderson are probably the two most recognizable names, as they were both drafted by the team in the seventh round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Harnish initially became recognizable as "Mr. Irrelevant"--the last player drafted in 2012--but he started to spark some genuine interest from Colts fans for his play during the preseason. He spent most of the season on the Colts' practice squad.
Anderson couldn't ever get healthy and spent most of the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list and the Practice Squad Injured List.
Ziemba was a seventh-round draft pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2011 and played in six games for them during his rookie season. He was waived by the Panthers on Dec. 11, 2012, and was signed to the Colts' practice squad six days later.
Meggett's name jumps out, too, as he is the son of Dave Meggett, who was a two-time Pro Bowl running back and returner for 10 seasons with the New York Giants, New England Patriots, and New York Jets--although the elder Meggett doesn't appear to have played much of a role in the younger Meggett's life outside of genetics.
Killeen is an especially interesting prospect, as he has spent the last few years playing in the Indoor Football League with the Tri-Cities Fever and the Green Bay Blizzard. "The Wolfman" registered 10.5 sacks in 15 games with the Fever in 2012, forcing three fumbles and recording an interception. He was assigned to the San Antonio Talons of the Arena Football League on July 19, 2012.
This isn't the first time that the Colts have looked to the indoor game to find prospects. In 2012, Ty Nsekhe and Jerry Brown were members of the team after both played for the Talons in the AFL. Nsekhe appeared in two games for the St. Louis Rams in 2012 as an offensive tackle.
On a much happier note, former Arena Football League star Rich Ranglin parlayed his successful indoor career into a spot on the 53-man roster of the Kansas City Chiefs last season, adding to the ever-growing list of arena and indoor football players who are making it and contributing in the NFL.
Killeen, then, is one to keep an eye on, as are the other nine members of this group.