Tracking Colts Moves After Day 1 of 2016 Free Agency Period
Day one of free agency saw a number of number of high-profile players follow the sweet smell of cash to new teams. While the Colts stayed quiet in terms of acquiring any of those players, there were a few moves that did take place.
Re-signed - Kicker Adam Vinatieri
This move actually happened on Tuesday before the start of free agency (Day -1?), and will keep the now 41-year-old kicker on the roster until he's 43. The two year, $6 million deal is worth every penny for a guy who only missed two field goals all of last season, and went four of five on field goals of 50-yards, or more.
Re-signed - Tight End Dwayne Allen
Both Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener were slated to hit the market once free agency began, and most insiders felt the team couldn't afford to keep both with a massive contract looming on the horizon for quarterback Andrew Luck. The re-signing of Allen to a four-year, $29.4 million contract on Tuesday made it quite clear which player they thought could help them win more in the long-run. Which meant...
Gone - Tight End Coby Fleener
Despite my hope the team would be able to figure out a way to keep both players on the roster, they let Fleener hit the open market. He wasn't there long, agreeing to a five-year, $36 million contract, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. As I mentioned earlier this week, I always enjoyed watching Fleener play. He didn't have the blocking ability of Dwayne Allen, which the Colts obviously coveted, but he didn't have the injury history either. With Drew Brees now throwing to him, Fleener has the potential to be one of the better receiving tight ends in the League.
Gone - Free Safety Dwight Lowery
Lowery was only a member of the Colts for one season, but made the most of it, playing in all 16 games for only the third time in his eight year career while recording his second-highest total of combined tackles (76), along with the most interceptions (4) of his career. He signed a three-year, $7.2 million deal with San Diego Wednesday afternoon. I liked Lowery, and hoped they would keep him around, however with his replacement, 2015 second round draft pick Clayton Geathers already in house, I understand the reasoning behind letting him walk.
Gone - Wide Receiver Andre Johnson
A year ago, this felt like a big free agent signing along with acquiring Frank Gore from San Francisco. Johnson wasn't the receiver he once was during his time in Houston, but felt like a solid replacement for the departed Reggie Wayne. A guy whose days of being a deep threat were behind him, but still a tall, reliable target for moving the chains, as well as inside the red zone. The rotating door of quarterbacks didn't help his cause, but with T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, and Phillip Dorsett on the roster (read: "young guys"), and Johnson clearly on the tail end of his career, moving forward without him was inevitable.
Wild Card - Linebacker Jerrell Freeman
The fourth year player was General Manager, Ryan Grigson's "Diamond in the Rough" grab during his first year as GM in 2012. A former player in the Canadian Football League, Freeman has become a bright spot in an otherwise mundane Colts defense, leading the team in tackles his first two years, and ranking second behind D'Qwell Jackson in 2014 despite only playing in 12 games due to injury, then again in 2015, where he appeared in 13 games. As it stands right now, he's a man without a team, free to sign with whomever he feels offers him the best deal. A list that theoretically would be all 32 teams, which would obviously include the Colts.