The most stable group for the Indianapolis Colts is the tight end position. It’s the one position that demands the most versatility and has the most impact on the game. As for the wide receivers, they were expected to be a strength, and for some, they lived up to those expectations. For the Colts, it was a mixed bag of results for pass catchers, and some critical decisions coming into the offseason. Let’s see what can happen in the offseason.
Despite mumbling the Colts could cut Dwayne Allen, I don’t think the Colts would want to move on from him. If they were to cut him, it’d save them just under $3 million in cap room. Injuries and production have always been a big question mark but there still is room to be a productive player. Six touchdowns and 406 yards are what Allen is going to be. It’s extremely similar to what he posted in 2015 as well.
Erik Swoope also showed a lot of improvement over the course of the season. Despite never playing a football game in his career, he had a little explosion in 2016. He had 297 yards and 1 touchdown on 15 receptions. Swoope is going to be and ERFA, which means: his original team must make a contract offer by the league-imposed deadline or the player becomes an unrestricted free agent. I can see the Colts bringing him back in with very little salary attached. His role should also grow next year as he sees more reps on the field.
As for the wide receiver position, the Colts will have two guys who they can pencil in next season. T.Y Hilton led the league in receiving yards, and Donte Moncrief scored seven touchdowns in nine games. Injuries again are a big concern for Moncrief but he also showed he can be effective in the red zone.
Behind Hilton and Moncrief, there are more questions going into next season. Phillip Dorsett hasn’t produced like a first-round talent. He played in 15 games last season and only scored two touchdowns to go along with 528 yards. The reality is, with a new general manager, he’ll need to produce next season in order to see his role continue to grow.
There was a bright spot, though, as Chester Rogers could push Dorsett for the No.3 wide receiver position. Finally, Quan Bray (another ERFA) should be back with the team as he showed a lot of value with his punt and kick returns.
There’s clearly a big difference in how the Colts see Jack Doyle market value and how he sees himself.
Despite the Colts' attempts to sign him over the past week, Colts TE Jack Doyle has plans to test free-agent market, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 28, 2017
With a very athletic tight end class in the draft, the Colts can target one of them to replace Doyle. This could be a case where the Colts could let him test the market (he probably has already spoken to other teams) and then they’ll choose whether to match the offers or not. The Colts don’t NEED him back but there is a lot of value with a guy who can play the H-back position. If he walks in free agency, Indianapolis will have another hole to fill.
Free Agent Targets
The one thing that the Colts are lacking with the wide receiver position is size. Moncrief has yet to play a full season, and outside the tight end position, the Colts could use more size in the red zone. The answer to that problem could be Michael Floyd.
A comparable contract is similar to what the Oakland Raiders gave Michael Crabtree in 2015. One year, $3.2 million, and that’s good value for the Colts. If Floyd produces, you likely have a good shot at retaining him. If not, they wouldn’t commit too many years or money and they can move on quickly.
The big issue with Floyd is the DUI arrest in December, and according to ABC 15 Arizona, these are the terms of his punishment:
“Floyd will spend the first 48 hours of his sentence in jail and serve the remaining 22 days on work release — 12 hours in jail and 12 hours out of jail each day, with the exception of Sunday, during which he will serve the entire day in jail.”
That time could cut into his OTA’s and his ability to catch onto a team. From a talent perspective, he would be a good addition to the Colts. Off the field, however, that could be a problem.
Evan Engram out of Ole Miss could be an intriguing prospect. He’s not known for his blocking and would be more of a big slot receiver rather than a tight end. That could fill a need for the Colts. In fact, at the Combine, he ran the fast 40-yard dash (4.42) out of all tight ends and had the fifth-best vertical jump (36″). He’s an athlete who will cause issues in the red zone.
- Indianapolis Colts, What to Expect: Part 1: Defensive Line
- Indianapolis Colts, What to Expect: Part 2: Linebackers
- Indianapolis Colts, What to Expect: Part 3: Secondary
- Indianapolis Colts, What to Expect: Part 4: Offensive Line