Mailbag: Will Chester Rogers Be On The Colts Roster In 2019?
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INDIANAPOLIS – Readers of 1070TheFan.com can submit their questions to have a chance of them being answered in our mailbag.
Here is the collection of Monday questions:
Stan (Minneapolis, MN)
Hey, Kevin! It feels nice to come back to my roots in the ol' mailbag. I've got a question about Chester Rogers. With his 2nd round tender, the Colts will have a chance to match any deal another team potentially might give him. If they don't match it, that team will surrender their 2nd round pick. If no offer is made, it defaults to a 1 year, $3.095M contract with the Colts. I like him well enough, but I can't imagine another team offering a 2nd rounder in addition to a contract for him, so I'm assuming he enters May as a Colt on that cheap, 1 year deal. During his time here, he's been mainly a slot and return man. Lord knows there were opportunities during the past few years for him to emerge as a piece of this offense, but it hasn't really happened. Now, I imagine the Colts will keep 5ish receivers on their 53 man roster come Fall. I'm banking on Hilton, Funchess, Cain, and at least 1 drafted WR taking up 4 of those spots. Judging by Frank Reich's comments, it seems like they envision Funchess as a potential jumbo slot type of player. If the Colts draft a 2nd WR, one with return ability, should we look at Rogers as a potential cut target, or at least someone who will struggle to get resigned in 2020? P.S. It's fun to return to my long-form essay roots.
Bowen: Stan, welcome back. You’ve been a lifer in the mailbag. Great to have you back. At this point, I’d be a bit surprised if Chester Rogers wasn’t on the Colts roster in 2019. Having said that, my confidence level could dwindle a bit depending how high the Colts take a receiver this week. But I still think the Colts look at Rogers as a valuable component to their operation, hence the reason for a second-round tender. Wide receiver is going to be very competitive to trim down this fall. However, Rogers brings value in the slot and as a returner, which are two areas the Colts don’t have a ton of depth. When you look ahead to 2020, I don’t think it’s a slam dunk you bring Rogers back though, depending on how the draft goes this week. But he is still unique with his body type and has different strengths than many of the Colts’ current receivers. At times, I think Rogers gets a bit of a bad rap. There’s a reason he’s hung on through two regimes, and easily caught the second most balls of any Indy receiver last year. The wideout group will have a battle to make the roster, but I think Rogers makes the team.
Dustyn (Wheatfield, IN)
I know you're probably sick of talking about wide receiver.... but I have one more question. In your opinion would the Colts be interested in a pure slot receiver type after signing a bigger guy in Funchess? I like the idea of having an Adam Humphries type player for Luck. Thanks
Bowen: Haha, not sick of it at all, Dustyn! It’s that time of year, one in which I love the debates. I totally understand the question and, to a degree, it makes sense. Now, some people actually believe Funchess has nice potential in the slot (as Stan pointed out above). The deeper analytical numbers on Funchess show that he’s had a lot of success, and more consistent catching, from the slot, which is not something we frequently say about a 6-4, 225-pound wideout. What I don’t think the Colts should do, or will do, is base their draft selections solely off what they did in free agency. Remember, Funchess signed just a one-year deal with the Colts. If he doesn’t work out in 2019, you still have a glaring need opposite T.Y. Hilton. I put a bigger body, outside receiver as the primary wideout goal for the Colts in this draft. I don’t think you can get so niche specific in crowning Funchess as the answer moving forward. Find a versatile receiver, who Frank Reich can move around, should be the focus later this week. Ideally, that player would have a frame to excel in the 50/50 battles that inevitably grow in the NFL.
Conor (Cook, Ireland)
Hi Kevin & co, big fan of the show from Ireland. I know there has been a lot of big names mock drafted to the Colts at Safety and WR but I want you to consider two under the radar prospects, Nasir Adderley(S) and Hunter Renfrow(WR). Adderley shined at the Senior Bowl with a pick six and demonstrates great tackling and coverage. Renfrow is Edelman like, undersized but excellent route runner. At Clemson there was a saying, 3rd and Renfrow. Both of these players are graded as average but Leonard and Smith have showed that mock drafts are meaningless. Value what a player does well as opposed to what he does bad. To think like Belichick. Thanks Conor.
Bowen: Hey Conor, good to hear from you and really appreciate you listening from Ireland! Both of those names are guys that I’ve seen rumored to the Colts, in various spots of the draft. And I would say Adderley has a good chance to go on Friday (in Round 2 or 3), with Renfrow likely to be taken on Saturday. I have little doubt that both of those players would contribute for the Colts, if they were drafted by Chris Ballard. With Renfrow though, I think the Colts could use a receiver taken a bit higher, with more outside wideout traits. Both of these guys are going to be productive players in the NFL. I just think the value of Renfrow is a little too late for that pick to be how the receiver position is handled in the draft.