6 free-agent WRs the Colts could consider in 2023
The Indianapolis Colts are less than a week away from the start of free agency where they may be in the market to add some depth to the wide receiver position.
We shouldn’t expect the Colts to go on a crazy spending spree for a few reasons.
One, that’s simply not the style of general manager Chris Ballard. Two, they should have some decent salary-cap space after making some moves, but the position still isn’t going to be at the top of the priority list. Three, the free agency class at wide receiver is relatively weak overall, and it’s likely the biggest names will be overpaid.
The Colts have two wide receivers currently set to hit the market in Parris Campbell and Ashton Dulin. They won’t be included in this piece because we are going to focus solely on outside options.
With Michael Pittman Jr. and Alec Pierce set to reprise their roles on the boundary in 2023, the Colts are likely looking for some depth behind them and candidates to play in the slot. So that’s where our focus will be.
We already took a look at four free-agent quarterbacks the Colts should consider.
Now, it’s time to take a look at the wide receivers:
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Previous Team: Green Bay Packers
The Colts may not be in on Lazard because he’s one of the bigger names on the market at the position. So it’s likely the teams willing to spend in free agency will go above what the Colts will, especially since Indy already has two established options on the boundary. Still, Lazard is an intriguing option. He works mainly on the outside but also can be used in the slot. He does the dirty work as a run blocker and is coming off of a career-high in receptions (60) and receiving yards (788) while posting six receiving touchdowns. Again, it’s unlikely to happen, and the Colts shouldn’t overpay for him, but he would be a nice addition to the room.
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Previous Team: New York Giants
Though James is smaller than what the Colts typically target at the position, he stepped up for the Giants during a season where they were left without any options at wide receiver. He recorded 57 receptions for 569 yards and four touchdowns. Working mainly from the slot, James would bring another element of speed to the position while also being able to work on special teams as a returner.
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Previous Team: Kansas City Chiefs
Despite being a former second-round pick, Hardman hasn’t truly lived up to his potential. He has had plenty of flashes, though, and his speed would be a nice addition to the offense. Hardman has experience working both from the slot and the outside but doesn’t offer much special teams work. There’s a good chance the Colts would get priced out of his market, however, considering his age and speed.
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Previous Team: Las Vegas Raiders
It will be interesting to see what Hollins’ market will be. He doesn’t carry a big name and has typically been a rotational player. However, he quietly had a career season posting 57 receptions for 690 yards and four touchdowns in 2022. Hollins would be an intriguing option as a WR3 behind Pittman Jr. and Pierce or even as a WR4 if Campbell is re-signed. He plays mostly on the outside and has sneaky speed for his size. Given his contract likely stays in the mid-single digits, he could be a low-risk, veteran depth option.
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Previous Team: Philadelphia Eagles
A reunion may not be the most exciting thing, but we know Pascal can be a solid depth player in the wide receiver room from his time with the Colts. We also know he has a solid relationship with new head coach Shane Steichen, who personally thanked Pascal during his introductory press conference. Pascal would do best as a WR4/5 type, but we’ve seen him step up in crucial moments on third downs. He also would be relatively cheap on the market.
Odell Beckham Jr.
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Previous Team: Los Angeles Rams (2021)
This is very unlikely to happen, but it’s at least something the Colts should consider at the right price. Though their price will be considerably lower than what the market may offer, some consider Beckham Jr. as the best option for wide receiver needy teams. There’s the injury risk, of course, and the fact that Beckham Jr. missed the entire 2022 season. He probably would prefer a true contender so working with a rookie quarterback may not be high on his to-do list. But the Colts still should check in on him because he could make more of an impact than the majority of free agents out there.