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Colts Must Be Willing To Spend In Free Agency

With the Colts having plenty of money to spend in free agency, they have to be willing spenders come Wednesday afternoon.

Andy Lyons | Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS – Those that win in March hardly win in the fall.


That’s the old saying in the NFL, throwing up a caution flag to teams that open up their pockets in free agency, thinking it will lead to instant success.


But as the NFL salary cap has rapidly grown over the last handful of years, free agency has offered a tad more reward to the inevitable risk that comes with it.


Last year, 6 of the top 10 ‘spenders’ in free agency went on to make the playoffs (Jaguars, Panthers, Patriots, Rams, Titans and Vikings).


Teams knows that if you want to find quicker fixes, dipping into free agency must be explored.


Chris Ballard has his natural reservations about free agency.


Ideally, Ballard wouldn’t need to concentrate so much in free agency to fill his abundance of needs.


But that’s reality for the Colts after awful drafts in 2013 and 2014, and huge misses in free agency.


“Free agency is dangerous,” Ballard says. “You are paying a lot of money to a player that you don’t know, who is coming from a different culture and coming into your building. You have to be very selective in what you do.”




“Look, we are 4-12,” Ballard reminds those listening.


“Do we need upgrades at a lot of spots? Absolutely. Do we need more difference makers? Absolutely.”


Over the next two days, NFL teams are allowed to “legally” tamper with pending 2018 free agents.


While the Colts should be busy exploring possible markets for the likes of Allen Robinson, Sammy Watkins, Andrew Norwell and Anthony Hitchens between now and the new league year starting Wednesday afternoon, they still have some re-sign decisions to make on Rashaan Melvin, Donte Moncrief and Jack Mewhort.


Even if Ballard is hesitant to truly be active in free agency, he must remember his approach from last season, and alter things a bit.


Last year, it was about the quantity of free agents needed after a serious defensive overhaul. The Colts signed 10 outside free agents in the first month of FA last year.


This year, it should be about the quality of free agents signed, with high-level talent an absolute must.


Resources are there to expedite this Colts’ rebuild, but the combination of high draft picks and money in free agency (like the Jaguars have done recently) have to be used.


At last month’s Town Hall, Frank Reich was inquired about how long until he believed things could get turned around for the Colts.


“Although I don’t put a time on it, I think when you get the right players, it can happen faster than you think,” Reich said.


For that to happen, an active upcoming week in free agency is required.

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