Why Colts’ Grover Stewart is among most underrated in free agency

Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Grover Stewart is expected to have a robust market in free agency, and he can begin negotiating with other teams Monday at noon ET.

There’s still a chance Stewart re-signs with the Colts ahead of the start of the legal tampering period. But as of this writing, no deal has been struck yet.

Colts fans know all too well just how valuable Stewart’s presence is both on the field and in the locker room. Doug Farrar of Touchdown Wire shared a similar sentiment, listing Stewart as one of the most underrated defenders set to hit free agency.

Stewart’s 2023 season was waylaid to a point because he served a six-game suspension after violating the NFL’s policy against performance-enhancing substances, but when he was on the field, he looked like the same Grover Stewart we’ve seen for a while now. His numbers last season were relatively low, but the tape told a more positive story of a guy playing much bigger than he was (6-foot-4, 314 pounds), especially in the nose tackle and nose shade positions. Stewart had one sack, 15 total pressures, 24 stops, and five tackles for loss in 2023, and wherever he lands, you can expect more than that in a full season.

Stewart’s calling card has always been a consistent disruptor against the run. Even when he’s not directly making a play, his impact typically leads to a win for the defense. But he’s also grown into a solid pass rusher from the one-technique in his own right.

After Michael Pittman Jr., there’s an argument that Stewart is the most important free agent for the Colts this offseason. His absence during his suspension in 2023 made for a brutal run defense during that two month span.

Stewart’s best fit is staying with the Colts, but he’s going to thrive wherever he goes.

Story originally appeared on Colts Wire