Colts To Sign Wide Receiver Devin Funchess
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INDIANAPOLIS – Chris Ballard is hoping they can tap into the potential of a big/young pass catcher for a second straight offseason.
And that would mean Devin Funchess can prove that he’s going to give the Colts the type of complement they need, in the here and now, for T.Y. Hilton.
The Colts reportedly will sign Funchess to a 1-year deal, for $10 million (with some incentives that could lead to a $13 million deal in total), when contracts can become official on Wednesday at 4:00 PM, when the new league year begins.
At 6-4 and 225 pounds, Funchess brings a bigger body to the Colts receiver position that they have not had in years.
Like Eric Ebron last offseason, the Colts are looking at a change of scenery to turn into the fulfillment of talent that many in the NFL thought was there for Funchess when he came out of Michigan back in 2015.
The Carolina Panthers took Funchess 41st overall in the second round of the 2015 Draft.
His 4 seasons in Carolina were marred more with inconsistency though, including a high drop rate flaring up in his final season.
2015 (16 games, 5 starts): 31 catches for 437 yards, 5 TDs, 49.2 catch percentage
2016 (15 games, 7 starts): 23 catches for 371 yards, 4 TDs, 39.7 catch percentage
2017 (16 games, 16 starts): 63 catches for 840 yards, 8 TDs, 56.8 catch percentage
2018 (14 games, 12 starts): 44 catches for 549 yards, 4 TDs, 55.7 catch percentage
While those around the Carolina franchise praised the development from Funchess in his route running, a propensity to catch the ball with his body led a poor end in Carolina.
Funchess caught just 5 balls on 19 targets in his final 5 games with the Panthers. After Funchess had one of the league’s smallest drop rates in 2017, that did not carry over for him in the final year of his rookie contract.
It should be noted that while Funchess did not help himself with the drops, Carolina has also not been a hotbed for serious receiver development under Cam Newton (i.e. Kelvin Benjamin).
If Funchess’ drops can quiet down---and more accurate quarterback play from Andrew Luck should help---the Colts have something to work with in their new receiver.
Funchess turns 25 years old in May and will be looking to prove himself on a one-year deal.
His 21 career touchdowns in 4 years is notable and he’s proved to be pretty durable, missing just 3 career games.
Frank Reich has to be loving the chance to have Luck work with a unique build at the receiver position, particularly when the field shrinks in the red zone. And Funchess should be quite eager to be in a skill group with T.Y. Hilton and Eric Ebron drawing most of the opposing defensive attention.
This signing is something that we’ve grown used to with Ballard---inking a younger player to a short-team deal, hoping that a new team/system/culture will lead to results that many thought would be there from a former premium draft pick.
And if this signing doesn’t work out, Funchess and his contract are off the books this time next year.
With free agent Dontrelle Inman still unsigned, the Colts had a definite need to bolster the wide receiver group.
This signing alone doesn’t mean the Colts should be completely content with their current wideout group.
A long-term view still needs to be viewed though at the receiver position this offseason, with the draft potentially leading to that answer, knowing that T.Y. Hilton is reaching the age of 30 later this year.
2019 Colts Free Agency News
Ring talk let’s eat 🙏🏾
— Devin Funchess (@D_FUNCH) March 12, 2019