Colts 2019 Free Agent Watch: Linebacker Najee Goode
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INDIANAPOLIS – Calling it ‘babysitting’ would have been unfair to the professionalism of the Colts rookie linebackers in 2018.
But Najee Goode was definitely the older brother to the rest of the incredibly young group of linebackers last season.
As a 29-year-old veteran, fresh off of winning a Super Bowl in Philadelphia, Goode was clearly brought to Indianapolis for more than just potential on-field contributions.
Goode spent the majority of 2018 mentoring a linebacker group littered with first and second-year players.
Even though Goode dressed and played in all 16 games with the Colts in 2018, his time on the field was very limited.
He didn’t log a single defensive snap in the final 11 games of the season.
The Colts staff routinely praised Goode for his leadership, and he was a big fan inside of the youthful linebacker room.
So, the dilemma for Chris Ballard will be how much do you weigh the leadership aspect of things for a back end of a 53-man roster spot going to a 30-year-old linebacker, who doesn’t have the same ceiling as other (younger) backers.
With the Colts having guys like Darius Leonard, Anthony Walker, Matthew Adams and Zaire Franklin under contract for several more seasons, there’s not an immediate need to add another body at linebacker, unlike how things were at LB going into the 2018 offseason.
Goode has started just 4 games in his NFL career.
Given how little he played to end 2018, it is Goode’s leadership that would be the major reason for having him return in 2019.
The Colts entered the offseason with 15 unrestricted free agents.
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