Feels like every off-season goes the same way. In April, us Colts fans love Chris Ballard. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it, the man is a wizard when it comes to the NFL draft.
Jonathon Taylor (2020) and Shaq Leonard in the second round (2018), Julian Blackmon in the third (2020), Grover Stewart in the 4th round (2017) the list goes on and on. But there is one, undeniable frustration that all Colts fans have with Chris Ballard: His complete refusal to play ball in the Free Agency window.
He is a notorious penny pincher when it comes to the free agency market; he never goes after the big names in their prime. Ballard tried to fill team needs through the draft and whenever he fails at filling a need he either gets a stop gap at that position until next year (look at our last two QB’s) or just lets that need fester until next draft. So with all of that being said…let’s take a look at who Ballard might be willing to loosen the purse strings on next year.
Salary Cap Situation as it Relates to DeAndre Hopkins
If you clicked on this article hoping that recently released Cardinals receiver, DeAndre Hopkins would be on this list, then you will be sorely disappointed. Get it out of your mind. Hopkins is not a possibility for the Indianapolis Colts.
Not only does he not fit the “Colture” (whatever that means) due to his suspensions for taking performance enhancers, but he just requires way too much money. Colts salary cap sits at 23,478,906 as reported by overthecap.com. A receiver of Hopkins’ caliber requires about 25 million a year, so unless we can talk Hopkins into taking a lot less money AND Ballard into taking a guy that doesn’t fit his attitude/work ethic requirement, Hopkins will not be in Indy this year.
Myles Jack Could Bring Much-Needed Depth
Okereke left us. No other way about it. Right when he was finally breaking out he decided it was time to split out to New York to join the Giants. This leaves the Colts a little thin at the LB position. Myles Jack could be the guy Ballard can get to help mend the depth issue. Jack is an NFL veteran, former division rival, and can come at a bargain due to his inconsistent play.
Dalton Risner Could be what Anthony Richardson Needs
We need a guard. Will Fries and Danny Pinter don’t exactly instill a lot of confidence in me, especially with how horrid our offensive line was last season. We need an instant upgrade and Dalton Risner can give us that. Again, with it being so late in the window, and nobody picking him up, he should come at a good price. He started all but one game for the Broncos last year and can provide Anthony Richardson with a good, consistent presence that a rookie QB needs.
Last thing we need is to put our star rookie QB out there with an unserviceable line…we all remember what happened the last time the Colts did something like that.