After a disappointing 7-9 season last year, the Indianapolis Colts were looking to revamp their team starting with free agency.
In years past, Indy has decided to build their team through the draft.
Examples include Marlon Mack, Quenton Nelson and the veteran wide receiver T.Y Hilton.
This year, the Colts pulled a 180 by initiating trades, grabbing big names, and spending money.
Below I will grade 5 key free agency moves that the Colts have made thus far.
1. Colts Trade For Deforest Buckner
Once the 1st day of legal tampering started, the Colts kicked off the day with a cannon ball-like splash by trading their 13th pick in the 2020 draft for Deforest Buckner.
Buckner is a mammoth of a man, standing at 6’7 and weighing at 285 pounds.
He is an absolute force to be reckoned with on the defensive line.
According to ESPN.com Buckner recorded 34 tackles and had 7.5 sacks.
Deforest Buckner was one of the key players that helped San Francisco’s defense be one of the best in the NFL last season.
At 26 years old, the Colts are getting an All-Pro player in the prime of his career.
Quenton Nelson: 24 years old
Darius Leonard: 24 years old
DeForest Buckner: 26 years old
Marlon Mack: 24 years old
Ryan Kelly: 26 years old
Chris Ballard is building a phenomenal foundation in Indianapolis
— Jake Elrod (@JakeElrod44) March 16, 2020
In a division where you will need to chase around and play Deshaun Watson twice a year, having a pass rush is as important as anything else.
2. Colts’ Sign Veteran QB Philip Rivers
Indy is still feeling the effects of Andrew Luck’s surprise retirement prior to the season starting last season.
While still having Jacoby Brisset on the team, the Colts decided to bring in one of the NFL’s biggest names.
Now official: Colts announce they signed QB Philip Rivers to a one-year contract.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 21, 2020
The legend from San Diego, Mr. Philip Rivers.
After Tom Brady, Rivers was the most popular QB who was on the free agency market.
Not the 2nd best QB, but the 2nd most popular, big difference.
At 38 years old, Rivers is coming in hopefully to help out the Colts offense.
The only problem is, Rivers’ play has dramatically declined.
In 2019, Rivers threw for 23 TD but 20 interceptions.
Oppose from 2018, where he threw 32 TDs and only 12 interceptions.
In an age where having a mobile quarterback feels like a necessity, I am scratching my head on why the Colts decided to go with old and slow Phillip Rivers.
3. Re-signing of Zach Pascal
After drafting the speedster ex Miami hurricane Phillip Dorsett in the 1st round, the Colts released him after 2 seasons.
The Colts have been struggling in finding a partner for T.Y Hilton.
One of the smartest things the Colts have done was re-signing Zach Pascal.
Pascal was the clear receiver who stepped up last season by leading the team in receiving yards with 608 yards.
The Colts currently are not known for having a top tier wide receiver room compared to other teams like the Buccaneers, Cowboys or the Browns.
So the signing Pascal, will help the passing game instead of him letting him test the free agency market.
4. Re-signing of Tackle Anthony Castonzo
If it’s Phillip Rivers, Jacoby Brisset or a first-year quarterback starting for the Colts, this was a strong move.
Re-signing one of the best tackles in the NFL for 2 more years was a great move for Indy.
Rumors of Castonzo retiring after last season caused the Colts to act fast on re-signing the veteran tackle.
5. Contract Extension of Mo Alie-Cox
The Colts lost pro bowl tight end Eric Ebron to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Re-signing Mo Alie-Cox was a move that Indy had to make to add to their room
He still has tremendous upside with his freakish ability.
Alie-Cox has the potential to turn into something special once he truly grasps the tight end position.