Indianapolis Colts Rumors & News

Colts Release Four Players

The Colts have released four players as they continue to trim their way down to a 75-man roster. On Monday morning, the Colts announced that they have released tight end Konrad Reuland while waiving wide receiver Daniel Anthrop, tackle Keith Lumpkin, and running back Trey Williams. Konrad Reuland (vertical)

Reuland was at the bottom of the Colts’ tight end depth chart with Dwayne Allen, Jack Doyle, Erik Swoope, and Darion Griswold all ahead of him. The well-traveled 29-year-old appeared in 26 games for the Jets between 2012 and 2013 and also appeared in four games for the Ravens last season.

The Colts’ roster now stands at 77 thanks to the wave of cuts made over the weekend. They must drop two more players between now and the 75-man deadline.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts’ Roster Sits At 81 Following 10 Cuts

The Colts announced that they’ve moved a bit closer to the 75-man deadline, as they’ve cut 10 players today. Indianapolis will still need to release/waive six more players before 3pm CT Tuesday.

[RELATED: Colts Sign Stevan Ridley]

The Colts have cut the following players:

Lumpkin, 28 next week, is the only member of this group with any NFL experience. In three season, he’s appeared in seven games with the Cardinals and Raiders, though he was out of the league in 2015.

Latest On Colts’ Jack Mewhort

2:04pm: Great news for the Colts, as owner Jim Irsay tweets that Mewhort will only be sidelined for two-to-four weeks, and will not require surgery, according to initial test results.

9:58am: Colts left guard Jack Mewhort is believed to have suffered a torn ACL during Saturday night’s preseason contest against Philadelphia, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Stephen Holder of The Indianapolis Star tweets that Mewhort will have an MRI today to confirm. If it is, in fact, a torn ACL, Mewhort’s season would likely be over.

Sep 13, 2015; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Indianapolis Colts guard Jack Mewhort (75) against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Colts 27 to 14. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

This comes as a crushing blow to an offensive line that was already a major cause of concern, especially since Mewhort was the most reliable member of that unit. The third-year pro started all 16 games for the Colts last season, grading out as the ninth-best guard in the league out of 81 eligible players, per Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required). Even head coach Chuck Pagano was at a loss for words Saturday, as Holder observed that Pagano “looked like he [had] seen a ghost”during last night’s press conference and admitted that he did not have a “clear picture” of his team because of the rampant injuries it has faced (Twitter links). Mewhort joins Vontae Davis, Kendall Langford, Clayton Geathers, and Henry Anderson as players who, at the very least, may not be ready for the start of the regular season. Pagano could not give a definite answer on when his injured players will return to the practice field full-time.

ESPN’s Mike Wells observes that rookie Joe Haeg would likely be in line to start at left guard if Mewhort’s season is over, but Haeg is out with an ankle injury. That means Jonotthan Harrison, who is also the backup center, could end up starting at left guard. As Wells writes, “The Colts have to ride the right arm of Andrew Luck to have any chance this season. That’ll be hard to do if the offensive line can’t protect the franchise player.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

Colts Sign Stevan Ridley

The Colts have signed free agent running back Stevan Ridley, which Kevin Bowen of Colts.com first reported via Twitter. The signing has since been confirmed by multiple sources.

Stevan Ridley (vertical)

[RELATED: Jack Mewhort Believed To Have Torn ACL]

Ridley was cut by the Lions just a few days ago, and he could be a quality backup for starter Frank Gore. The Colts have spoken at length about their plan to preserve Gore and keep him on a pitch count. Last year, Gore wound up carrying the ball 260 times and Indianapolis wants to dial that number down so that the veteran can be fresh late in the season. Before the Ridley signing, Robert Turbin was listed as the Colts’ No. 2 back with Jordan Todman, undrafted rookie Josh Ferguson, and Trey Williams also on the depth chart.

It remains to be see how many backs the Colts will carry, but the team could certainly use a player with Ridley’s upside in the backfield. A former third-round pick, Ridley averaged 5.1 yards per carry in limited action during his rookie season in 2011, then exploded for 1,263 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns in 2012. However, fumbling issues landed him on the bench in New England, and a devastating ACL/MCL injury limited him in both 2014 and 2015.

After spending his first four years in the NFL with the Patriots, Ridley signed with the Jets last season, but didn’t see the field all that much after coming off the PUP list. With Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell handling the majority of the workload out of the backfield, Ridley took over for Zac Stacy as the No. 3 back and earned just 36 carries, totaling only 90 yards for a career-worst 2.5 yards per attempt. His stint with Indianapolis could represent his best opportunity to reestablish himself as a quality back.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

Colts Not Expected To Sign RB Today

  • The Colts are meeting with Stevan Ridley today, but don’t expect them to sign him or any other running back before the end of the day, according to Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star (Twitter link). If Ridley proves to be healthy, he could be a quality backup for starter Frank Gore. The Colts have spoken at length about their plan to preserve Gore and keep him on a pitch count. Last year, Gore wound up carrying the ball 260 times, and Indianapolis wants to dial that number down so that the veteran can be fresh late in the season.

Stevan Ridley Visiting Colts

Stevan Ridley might not be unemployed for long. Ridley, who was cut by the Lions on Thursday, is on a visit with the Colts today, a source tells Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). Stevan Ridley (vertical)

[RELATED: Lions Release Stevan Ridley]

If Ridley proves to be healthy, he could be a quality backup for starter Frank Gore. The Colts have spoken at length about their plan to preserve Gore and keep him on a pitch count. Last year, Gore wound up carrying the ball 260 times and Indianapolis wants to dial that number down so that the veteran can be fresh late in the season. As it stands, Robert Turbin is the Colts’ No. 2 back with Jordan Todman, undrafted rookie Josh Ferguson, and Trey Williams also on the depth chart.

This week, coach Chuck Pagano said that the team has a carrying cap in mind for Gore.

We have to be very, very smart to make sure that we have him available for 16 games and he’s healthy and he’s fresh and he’s out there,” Pagano said (via Stephen Holder of the Indy Star). “He’s obviously a really good player. We have a number in mind and we’ll try to do our very best to stick with that number.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts Notes: Cromartie, Davis, Langford

New addition Antonio Cromartie is a “perfect” fit for the Colts’ defense, says coach Chuck Pagano (via Kevin Bowen of Colts.com).

Long, athletic, fast. Ball skills, intelligent, smart, knows the game as well as anybody I’ve been around,” Pagano said of Cromartie.

Of course, the Colts are banking on Cromartie being able to contribute as Vontae Davisankle injury could sideline him for a good while. Davis could be out for at least the first month of the season and Cromartie is being counted upon to bolster the talent of a cornerback group that also includes free agent addition Patrick Robinson, Darius Butler, Jalil Brown, and 2015 third-rounder D’Joun Smith.

Here’s more from Indianapolis:

  • The Colts’ deal with Cromartie is a one-year pact worth $3MM, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The veteran gets $250K guaranteed with an additional $500K available through incentives. Personally, I expected Cromartie’s deal to be worth a lot less.
  • Injuries on the Colts’ roster will make for some tough decisions when it comes to cutting down the roster, Stephen Holder of the Indy Star writes. The team’s list of “week to week” players includes Davis (ankle), defensive end Kendall Langford (knee), safety Clayton Geathers (foot), defensive tackle Henry Anderson (knee), guard Hugh Thornton (ankle), guard Joe Haeg (ankle), and linebacker Sio Moore (hamstring). The need to fill in for these players could result in some tough cuts and Holder wonders if that could mean young linebacker Edwin Jackson being left off the 53-man roster.
  • Last night, PFR’s Dallas Robinson recapped the Colts’ offseason in great detail. Did the Colts do enough to put themselves back into the playoff mix? Read up on the Colts’ spring/summer moves and decide for yourself.

Offseason In Review: Indianapolis Colts

Many NFL observers had not only penciled in the Colts for a lengthy postseason run, but projected Andrew Luck to be among the league’s top contenders for the MVP award. Instead, Luck dealt with injuries (and wasn’t all that productive when he was on the field), and though backup Matt Hasselbeck played well at times, the offense couldn’t handle the loss of its starting quarterback, and finished 30th in DVOA. Indy’s defense was surprisingly competent (13th in DVOA), but that performance wasn’t enough to help the club finish better than 8-8, second in the AFC South.

Notable signings:

The Colts and general manager Ryan Grigson have been active spenders during the last two free agent periods, as they’ve attempted to augment their roster with external additions. During the 2014-15 offseasons, Indianapolis handed out an average of $38.5MM in guaranteed money while inking veterans such as D’Qwell Jackson, Arthur Jones, Andre Johnson, Frank Gore, and Trent Cole. This year, the club took a markedly different approach, limiting their free agent spending and disbursing less than $20MM in guarantees.Dwayne Allen (featured)

The majority of that money went towards re-signing one of the Colts’ own free agents, as the club hammered out a four-year deal to retain tight end Dwayne Allen. The 26-year-old is coming off a platform season during which he was not only hampered by ankle and calf injuries, but posted only 16 receptions for just over 100 yards and one touchdown, so it’s perhaps surprising that Allen is now among the 10 highest-paid tight ends on an annual basis.

But this contract was offered with an eye towards the future, as new Indy offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski — a former tight ends coach who often features the position in his scheme — reportedly told Allen that he’d be more involved in the club’s gameplan going forward. Allen has flashed before (he put up a 45/521/3 line during his rookie campaign), and as Scott Barrett of Pro Football Focus noted at time of the signing, Allen has always graded out well as a blocker, both in the run and pass game.

The Colts’ only other notable re-signing was that of kicker Adam Vinatieri, with whom the club worked out a two-year deal. In 2015, Vinatieri connected on 25 of 27 field goal tries, for a 92.6% conversion rate. However, he did occasionally struggle with the longer extra point, missing three of 35 attempts. Still, there were few NFL kickers more reliable than Vinatieri, who is now third on the league’s list of all-time leading scorers. With 2,253 points, Vinatieri should be able to make a run at Morten Andersen (2,544) and Gary Anderson (2,434) as he plays out the final leg of his career.

On defense, Indianapolis found a cornerback who can slot in opposite Vontae Davis, as it agreed to terms with Patrick Robinson, who spent last season with the Chargers. A first-round pick of the Saints back in 2010, Robinson never broke out until heading to San Diego, as he started 10 games in 2015 and graded as the league’s No. 30 CB among 111 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus.Patrick Robinson (Vertical)

Because Davis lines up primarily on the right side, Robinson will see most of his time at left corner, although he is also capable of playing in the slot. As PFF’s Nathan Jahnke tweeted earlier this year, Robinson held quarterbacks to the third-worst rating (67.7) in the league when lined up in the slot. But with Darius Butler entrenched on the inside, Robinson will likely stay on the outside most of the time, something that Grigson confirmed when the 28-year-old was signed.

Joining Robinson in the secondary will be veteran corner Antonio Cromartie, who was just signed yesterday following news that Davis will miss at least the first month of the season with an ankle injury. Cromartie, a 10-year veteran and four-time Pro Bowler, has been on the open market since the Jets released him in February. That was the end of Cromartie’s second stint with New York, which lasted only one season. Pro Football Focus ranked him just 86th out of 111 qualified cornerbacks in 2015, but he’ll now likely be counted on to start for a quarter of the season at minimum.

While Indianapolis is planning on Robinson and Cromartie providing consistent production in the defensive backfield, the club is surely hoping that Scott Tolzien doesn’t see many — if any — snaps this year as he serves as Andrew Luck‘s backup at quarterback. Luck is coming off an injury-wrecked season, but the Colts were able to stay afloat thanks in some part to the play of Matt Hasselbeck.

Tolzien, meanwhile, doesn’t have anywhere close to the level of experience that Hasselbeck did, as Tolzien has only attempted 91 passes during his career. As such, it’s fair to wonder why Indy didn’t target a more high-profile backup signal-caller. But, as former Colts offensive coordinator Tom Moore once said (in an extremely colorful way), clubs are usually finished if their starting quarterback goes down, so perhaps not investing in a No. 2 option is the smart strategy.

Indianapolis doesn’t have much depth behind Luck, and the club is also short on options behind running back Frank Gore, who is entering his age-33 season. Veteran free agent additions Jordan Todman and Robert Turbin, each of whom signed minimum salary benefit deals, both figure to make the roster and would likely share carries if Gore suffers an injury. However, 2016 undrafted free agent Josh Ferguson has been drawing rave reviews, and could leap both Todman and Turbin for playing time.

Continue reading about the Colts’ offseason…

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Vontae Davis To Miss First Month Of Season

The Colts brought in defensive back help earlier tonight, agreeing to terms with veteran corner Antonio Cromartie, and the reason for the signing is now readily apparent. Indianapolis cornerback Vontae Davis has suffered ligament damage in his ankle and is now expected to miss at least the first month of the regular season, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com.Vontae Davis (Vertical)

[RELATED: Updated Colts depth chart]

Head coach Chuck Pagano had been designating Davis “week-to-week,” but as Mike Wells of ESPN.com noted earlier today, Pagano had used that terminology before, only to see players significantly more time. That seems to be the case in this instance, as Davis is now set to miss at least six weeks of action from today’s date. If Davis is sidelined for only the first four games of the regular season, he’d miss contests against the Lions, Broncos, Chargers, and Jaguars.

Aside from Cromartie, the Colts do have other options in their secondary, but no one that rivals the singular talent of Davis. Indy signed former Chargers cornerback Patrick Robinson to a three-year deal this offseason, and though he’s currently dealing with a groin injury, he’s expected to be ready for Week 1. Darius Butler, Jalil Brown, 2015 third-rounder D’Joun Smith, and others make up the rest of the Colts’ back end.

Davis, 28, has become one of the league’s best corners since being traded to Indianapolis in 2012, as he’s been selected to the Pro Bowl in each of the last two seasons, and was named an All Pro in 2014. He started all 16 games last season, posting four interceptions, 16 passes defensed, and graded as the NFL’s No. 29 CB, according to Pro Football Focus.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.