Some of the Indianapolis Colts‘ headline-grabbing moves this offseason will make them contend for the AFC South division title again.
Better yet, these moves will help them forget the painful ending to their 2021 NFL season and eventually make noise in the postseason in 2022.
For the purposes of this article, we will rank Indy’s offseason transactions according to the impact they will make in 2022 and beyond.
3. Trading Rock Ya-Sin For Yannick Ngakoue
The Colts needed pass rushing help in the worst possible way and they got it in former Las Vegas Raiders stalwart Yannick Ngakoue.
Indy’s 33 sacks ranked the squad in the bottom tier of the NFL in 2021.
Ngakoue had 10 sacks last season so he should help the Colts’ cause tremendously.
How many sacks will Yannick Ngakoue have this season? pic.twitter.com/d7RkGr9Xwa
— Colts Coverage (@Colts_Coverage) April 9, 2022
He also had eight tackles for loss and two forced fumbles for good measure.
On that note, Ngakoue should also help shore up the Colts’ 18th-ranked pressure unit.
Ngakoue’s youth presents another upside – the 27-year-old pass rusher will wreak havoc on the Colts’ opposition for years.
The best-case scenario for new Colts defensive coordinator Gus Bradley is Ngakoue starting opposite Paye at edge rusher.
It should be fun watching those two pass rushers hit their stride in 2022.
2. Signing CB Stephon Gilmore
Colts GM Chris Ballard’s second-best move this offseason was signing five-time Pro Bowl defensive back Stephon Gilmore.
The Horseshoe signed Gilmore to a two-year, $23 million deal with $14 million in guaranteed money on April 18.
Not only does Gilmore’s acquisition make up for the loss of defensive back Rock Ya-Sin, but it also helps Indy improve its 19th-ranked team pass defense and shoddy 31st-ranked touchdown passes allowed in 2021.
Should Ballard somehow sort out Kenny Moore II’s contract situation, the Colts will have a tremendous 1-2 punch at the cornerback position in Moore and Gilmore.
Gilmore’s status as a five-time Pro Bowler and 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year gives him the edge over Ngakoue in these rankings.
1.Acquiring QB Matt Ryan From the Atlanta Falcons
The Carson Wentz experiment failed so the Colts were on the quarterback carousel at season’s end yet again.
When Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield requested a trade three months ago, he voiced his preference for Indianapolis.
However, the Colts balked at the prospect of Mayfield wearing the Horseshoe.
Enter 2016 NFL MVP and four-time Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Ryan.
— Matt Ryan (@M_Ryan02) June 3, 2022
Colts offensive coordinator Marcus Brady has been raving about Ryan’s accuracy and exemplary leadership qualities.
Those attributes make Ryan a solid fit for the Colts at quarterback.
Sure, Ryan is already 37 years old.
However, he’s far from a washed up signal-caller.
Ryan has averaged 24 touchdown passes in the last three seasons.
He’s also a durable quarterback: he has missed just three games in his 14-year NFL career.
With that in mind, it isn’t hard imagining Ryan completing touchdown passes to Michael Pittman Jr. and Alec Pierce when he’s already 40 years old.
It’s also about time Ryan finally earns that elusive Super Bowl ring.
Should veteran wide receiver T.Y. Hilton re-sign with the Horseshoe, he and Ryan winning a Super Bowl in Indy is sweet vindication.
Naysayers will say it’s a long shot in 2022.
However, anything’s possible – nobody expected the Cincinnati Bengals to reach Super Bowl LVI but they beat the odds somehow.
Indy assumes a similar dark horse role in 2022 with Ryan under center.
Ryan’s acquisition is the Colts’ best offseason move so far.