What the perfect offseason looks like for the Colts

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Kevin Hickey
·5 min read
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The Indianapolis Colts have several decisions to make this offseason between free agency and the 2021 NFL draft. Never is an offseason perfect but we can dream can’t we?

This article is less about being realistic and more about what the Colts offseason would look like if we lived in a perfect world. How could the perfect storm cultivate in the Colts coming away with the best offseason possible?

Here’s what the perfect offseason looks like for the Colts:

Find the franchise QB

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There is one way to do this. Move up in the draft from No. 21 to find the quarterback who will be under center for 15 years. Now, that doesn't happen often but there are some promising prospects the Colts could move up for. That said, it will be expensive. Given how many teams need a quarterback within the top-10 alone, the Colts are going to have to part ways with some future picks in order to make this wish come true. But if they can somehow move up and grab Justin Fields, Zach Wilson or Trey Lance, the outlook of the team grows exponentially more positive. Free agency will have a lot of say in what goes down in the draft, but trading up for the potential franchise quarterback would be a great move by Ballard because that would mean they found their guy.

Replace Anthony Castonzo

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Finding Castonzo's replacement will be difficult, especially if the Colts give away a ton of picks to move up for a quarterback. But they still need to find someone who is a viable plug-in for Castonzo. There are several ways the Colts can do this. Free agency has some options like Trent Williams, who will be expensive but worth it. Taylor Moton would also be a fine plug-in next to Quenton Nelson. Then, there are some prospects in the draft that the Colts could go with. It won't be easy to find his replacement if the Colts trade up for a quarterback, but the options are certainly there.

Sign Carl Lawson

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If there is one free agent the Colts should heavily pursue, it's Lawson. The Colts have a massive need to add to the edge of the defensive line and while they should be looking to re-sign some depth with Denico Autry and Al-Quadin Muhammad, they need a game-changer. Enter Lawson, who can do some serious damage from the edge. Even though he only had 5.5 sacks in 2020, Lawson's 64 pressures were the fourth-most among edge defenders, per Pro Football Focus. He was also among the leaders in the sacks created metric from ESPN. https://twitter.com/SethWalder/status/1349556914275938306 Lawson is just 25 years old and is a stud from the edge. Get him in several 1v1 situations thanks to the presence of DeForest Buckner and Grover Stewart and watch him thrive in helping the pass rush.

Add explosive WR

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Listening to Chris Ballard talk to Dan Dakich on Friday about how much he loves the current wide receiver corps makes me think the Colts won't be major players in free agency at the position—as much as we'd love to see them add an Allen Robinson type. Even with the current group, the Colts still need to add explosiveness and speed to the wide receiver room. In this perfect world, the Colts can't do that with an early pick in the draft. But they can still try to find an explosive talent with a late Day 2 pick or early Day 3 pick. Maybe they could be in the race for Curtis Samuel in free agency—he would be a fantastic fit in the offense. But with Michael Pittman Jr. in line as the alpha, Parris Campbell coming back, the Colts simply need to get more explosive.

Find depth at CB

AP Photo/Zach Bolinger

It still remains to be seen if Xavier Rhodes will be re-signed. The Colts are seemingly letting him test the market, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him following Jonathan Gannon to Philly. That means the Colts have Kenny Moore, Rock Ya-Sin, Marvell Tell and Isaiah Rodgers as their cornerbacks. The Colts are going to have to find more depth for this room. Maybe they can re-sign Rhodes. T.J. Carrie could also be brought back given the solid year he had as a depth piece. But finding more depth for the room will be necessary and if they can do that, they will be on their way to checking off another box in a perfect offseason.

Extend key players

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This one isn't a necessity but it would be more icing on the cake. The Colts have four players worthy of an extension this offseason and it is highly likely at least two of them get done before the 2021 season arrives. The two players almost guaranteed to see extensions are linebacker Darius Leonard and right tackle Braden Smith. Of course, left guard Quenton Nelson is in that mix but given the potential salary cap restraints and the fact that he has a fifth-year option, the Colts can wait a bit. Another player in the mix is running back Nyheim Hines.