Indianapolis Colts Rumors & News

Colts Notes: Allen Trade, Draft

  • At its core, the Dwayne Allen trade was about accountability for the Colts, Stephen Holder of the Indy Star writes, but there was more to it. Allen didn’t always live up to his contract, but beyond that, dealing him to the Patriots was also about creating more opportunities for tight ends Jack Doyle and Erik Swoope. “Look, Dwayne Allen was a great pro and a good guy,” GM Chris Ballard said. “That was a really hard decision to make because he’s a great person. But sometimes to let a player take another step, you have to move on from a guy. And I think Swoope’s got a lot of talent. We’ll see. I thought we saw signs of progression last year that were exciting to see. He’s got to take another step. And we’ll see if he does it or not.”
  • Speaking of the Colts, they “will not be timid about moving around in the draft,” according to Ballard, who doesn’t believe the team has enough picks. The Colts are slated to pick seven times, including 15th overall, and “wouldn’t hesitate to trade down” because “that would be something that we think could really benefit us,” Ballard told Kevin Bowen of the team’s website.

Colts Notes: RBs, QBs

Colts head coach Chuck Pagano believes bringing in a young running back is “paramount,” per Kevin Bowen of Colts.com (Twitter link). Indianapolis’ backfield is currently composed of Frank Gore, who is entering his age-34 season, and 27-year-old Robert Turbin, who was recently re-signed on a two-year deal. Backs that could be available when the Colts are on the board at pick No. 15 include Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, and Christian McCaffrey.

  • Although the Colts will likely sign a fourth quarterback in the coming weeks, that shouldn’t be taken as a sign the club is worried about Andrew Luck‘s health, tweets Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star. New general manager Chris Ballard simply is accustomed to keeping four signal-callers on the offseason roster, a strategy the Chiefs employed when Ballard worked in Kansas City. At present, Indianapolis has Luck, Scott Tolzien, and Stephen Morris under contract.
  • Free agent linebacker Erik Walden fired agent Todd France three days after meeting with the Titans earlier this month, according to Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com, who adds Walden has not yet found new representation. Walden’s visit with Tennessee is the only known meeting he’s taken so far this offseason after the Colts informed him he wouldn’t be retained. PFR ranks Walden as the sixth-best edge defender remaining on the board.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/25/17

Today’s minor moves:

  • The Colts have signed long snapper Joe Fortunato, the club announced earlier this week. Fortunato appeared in 46 games during his four-year run at the University of Delaware from 2012-15. After going undrafted in 2016, Fortunato hasn’t drawn any known interest from any other clubs, but he’ll now have a shot to stick on Indianapolis’ roster. However, Fortunato is likely to serve simply as offseason depth, as the Colts already boast Matt Overton — a five-year pro with a Pro Bowl berth under his belt — as their long snapper.

Colts Cut DL Arthur Jones

The Colts announced that they have released defensive lineman Arthur Jones. The move will save the team $5.15MM in cap space. Arthur Jones (vertical)

[RELATED: Details On Kamar Aiken’s Contract]

Jones joined the Colts on a five-year, $33MM deal prior to the 2014 season. He never came close to living up to that contract. In the past three years, he has played in just 17 combined regular season games, including a completely lost 2015 season. This time last year, Jones took a pay cut in order to stay with the team. This time around, he’s being dropped altogether. Injuries and underwhelming production played a major role in his release, but Jones’ PED suspension in 2016 probably didn’t help his cause either.

In the short amount of time he spent on the field in 2016, Jones didn’t really deliver. In eight games, Jones tallied 30 total tackles. When his season ended on IR in December, the advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus had him ranked as the No. 120 defensive tackle out of 126 qualified players.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Details On Kamar Aiken's Contract

  • Wide receiver Kamar Aiken‘s one-year pact with the Colts is worth $2.6MM – $1.5MM of which is guaranteed – and features up to $600K in per-game roster bonuses, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link).

Front Office Rumors: Bills, 49ers, Colts

Earlier today, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com brought us news on the Redskins’ GM search. Further down in his column, he presented more front office news from around the NFL. Here’s a look at the highlights:

  • New Bills coach Sean McDermott could convince ownership to import front office guys with whom he has a relationship. JLC floats the name of Panthers director of player personnel Don Gregory and notes that there are “already rumblings that the marriage of McDermott and Bills GM Doug Whaley” will not last.
  • The 49ers are also looking to add to the front office. This makes sense given that new GM John Lynch is a front office neophyte.
  • New Colts GM Chris Ballard may want to shake up the scouting core, but league sources tell JLC that he may have to wait a year since the evaluators that are already there have more time to go on their contracts. Still, Ballard badly wants to poach Seahawks executive Ed Dodds. If Indy can land him, he’ll probably get a promotion over his current title. Jets director of college scouting Rex Hogan is also a Ballard target, but JLC hears that he still has a good amount of time left on his contract and might be harder to pry away.
  • Bears exec Morocco Brown, who has history with Ballard, could be a possible candidate for the Colts and 49ers. JLC notes that Brown had a solid relationship with new SF coach Kyle Shanahan in D.C.

Vikings, Four Others Interested In Rod Streater

The Vikings looking at free agent wide receiver Rod Streater, Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press tweets. The Colts, Seahawks, Browns, and incumbent 49ers are also in the mix, but Tomasson says that no deal imminent. "<strong

Streater, 29, is ranked as one of our top fifteen wide receivers left on the open market. Once upon a time, Streater appeared to be on the verge of big things with the Raiders. Unfortunately, after catching 60 passes for 888 yards in 2013, he was derailed by injuries. After appearing in just four games for Oakland between 2014 and 2015, he wound up with the Niners on a one-year deal. He had 18 catches for 191 yards and two touchdowns for San Francisco while appearing in all 16 regular season games.

The Vikings have Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Jarius Wright, and Laquon Treadwell at receiver but Streater could be brought in to compete with Isaac Fruechte at the WR5 spot. The Niners technically have ten receivers under contract, including free agent additions Pierre Garcon, Marquise Goodwin, Aldrick Robinson, and DeAndre Carter.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts To Sign WR Kamar Aiken

Former Ravens wide receiver Kamar Aiken is expected to sign with the Colts, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). It’ll be a one-year deal, Stephen Holder of the Indy Star tweets. Kamar Aiken (vertical)

Aiken, 28 in May, had only 29 receptions for the Ravens in 2016 after putting up 75 catches the year prior. Still, we had Aiken ranked the best free agent receiver heading into today, putting him ahead of notables like Victor Cruz, Brian Quick, Brandon LaFell, Anquan Boldin, Ted Ginn, and Vincent Jackson.

Exact terms of the deal are not yet known, but this could prove to be a quality value signing for the Colts. From Aiken’s perspective, however, it’s surprising that this was apparently the best opportunity he had to rebuild his value. The Colts’ passing game figures to be strong in 2017 and Aiken is probably looking forward to catching passes from Andrew Luck. At the same time, the Colts already have T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, and Phillip Dorsett at receiver.

Before landing in Indy, the Seahawks also showed interest in Aiken.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Mychal Rivera To Meet With Colts

Mychal Rivera‘s Jets meeting did not end with a contract, so Rivera will continue on as a first-time UFA. The tight end will visit the Colts next, Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com tweets.

The Colts have authored an interesting month at their tight end position, re-signing Jack Doyle and trading Dwayne Allen to the Patriots. This comes a year after Coby Fleener defected to the Saints. They have made several additions but most have come on the defensive side of the ball.

Rivera spent four seasons with the Raiders, seeing his role decline considerably. After being the Raiders’ primary pass-catching tight end in 2013-14, Rivera did not top 300 yards receiving in either of the past two seasons. He exceeded 400 as a rookie and second-year player, hauling in four touchdown passes in each season. But Clive Walford‘s arrival in Oakland in 2015 helped limit Rivera’s work. The Raiders also signed Jared Cook last week, ensuring Rivera would not be back in Oakland for a fifth season.

Indianapolis has used a two-tight end set as a primary formation throughout Andrew Luck‘s tenure. There would be opportunities for Rivera if the Colts elect to sign him, despite Doyle’s presence. The Colts also met with UFA wide receiver Kamar Aiken late last week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts Sign TE Brandon Williams

The Colts have signed former Seahawks tight end Brandon Williams, per a team announcement. He’ll provide depth behind Jack Doyle and Erik Swoope. Brandon Williams (TE) (Vertical)

The Colts have had some major turnover at the tight end position this year after trading Dwayne Allen to the Patriots. He might not factor into things as a traditional tight end, however. To date, Williams hasn’t done much on offense, but he has plenty of special teams experience. Last year, he played on 335 special teams snaps, good for second-most among all Seattle players. Meanwhile, he played 148 offensive snaps as the team’s third-string tight end.

In other Colts news, the team signed linebacker Sean Spence this week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.