The Indianapolis Colts struggled to move the ball through the passing attack last season, but that wasn’t the only issue they had in 2019.
The Colts secondary is below average and needs an upgrade if the organization wants to become more competitive next season.
Kenny Moore II has been a reliable shut down cornerback for the team, but they don’t have much depth behind him.
Free agency is loaded with defensive backs and the Colts have the second-most cap space to spend in the NFL, so the time to make a splash would be now.
Let’s take a look at 3 defensive backs the Colts should target in free agency
1. Xavier Rhodes
The former 1st round pick from the 2013 draft is finally a free agent after seven years with the Minnesota Vikings.
Xavier Rhodes was one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL just a few seasons ago.
Unfortunately, things went horribly wrong for Rhodes in 2019 and he became one of the worst starting corners on a weekly basis.
Former 1st rounder, Xavier Rhodes, is being released by the Minnesota Vikings.
— Mike Tannenbaum (@RealTannenbaum) March 13, 2020
Rhodes is hitting free agency at the worst possible time after a disastrous campaign.
However, this could be the perfect chance to scoop up Rhodes for a cheap one-year prove it type of deal.
The 29-year-old is has been healthy throughout his career and was known as one of the better defensive backs in the league before 2019.
A change of scenery might help Rhodes and he could be worth bringing in on a short-term deal.
2. Chris Harris Jr.
The four-time Pro Bowler Chris Harris Jr. is hitting free agency this summer.
He has played each of the last nine seasons with the Denver Broncos, but is set to test his worth in free agency.
Harris is one of the best defensive backs in the league, but isn’t getting any younger.
Free Agent Profile: Chris Harris Jr. (CB)
Age: 30 H: 5'-10" W: 199 Spd: 4.48
Exp: 9 Years – Undrafted FA 2011
139 Games, 518 Tackles (Combined), 4.5 Sacks,
20 Int., 6 FF, Pass Def: 90
A strong veteran presence, who may have lost a step, but could be attainable pic.twitter.com/zkastwkqeQ
— Offseason Champions (@HTTRChamps) January 22, 2020
Harris is heading into his age 32 season, so he is definitely one of the older defensive backs available in free agency.
He is coming off a decent 2019 campaign where he recorded one interception and 56 combined tackles through 16 games.
Harris should still have at least two years of elite play left in the tank and the Colts should take advantage of that.
3. Darqueze Dennard
One of the more underrated defensive backs heading into free agency is Darqueze Dennard.
He has spent each of the last six seasons in Cincinnati after being taken in the first round by the Bengals in 2014.
Dennard played well during his limited time in 2019, but is he ready to take a step forward in 2020?
Based on my very extensive research (I typed their names into the Twitter search), the Bengals free agents getting the most buzz are
1. Nick Vigil
2. Tyler Eifert
3. Andrew Billings
4. Darqueze Dennard
People are sleeping on Dennard. He's a really good slot corner.
— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) March 14, 2020
Dennard performed well as the slot corner for the Bengals in 2019, but health is the biggest concern.
He has only played in all 16 games in a single season once during his career.
Dennard only played in nine games (started five) with the Bengals last season.
The Colts should be able to get a fairly team-friendly deal with Dennard since he hasn’t been healthy throughout most of his career.
There’s obviously risk involved here, but there is huge upside if Dennard is able to stay on the field and play at an elite level.
Rhodes, Harris, and Dennard all have some baggage, but can be top tier options if things go in the right direction.
None of them would likely need long-term commitments and the Colts could use a majority of their salary cap to address other areas of the team.