So why isn’t he wearing the Horseshoe yet?
It’s pretty obvious Colts GM Chris Ballard is still in wait-and-see mode.
Indy has had good stability at left tackle in previous years.
Tarik Glenn protected Peyton Manning’s blind side for 10 seasons.
Anthony Castonzo joined the Colts as a rookie during Manning’s injury-riddled 2011 season and protected Kerry Collins, Curtis Painter, and Dan Orlovsky that year.
He went on to protect Andrew Luck from 2012 to 2019.
Realistically, the 36-year-old Brown won’t play that long.
PFF names LT Duane Brown as ‘perfect free-agent match’ for Colts pic.twitter.com/RF3Zm8pdrA
— VCP Football (@VCPFootball) March 12, 2022
However, he can still give younger left tackles a run for their money.
Let’s break down the three reasons why the Colts should sign him.
3. He Has A Proven Track Record
First off, we’re talking about a five-time Pro Bowler who helped the Houston Texans become postseason contenders as his career progressed.
The last time he made the Pro Bowl was in 2021.
It’s clear this incoming 15-year veteran still has plenty of gas left in his tank.
Brown also helped Russell Wilson rack up two 4,000-yard passing seasons in the past three years when they were teammates with the Seattle Seahawks.
2. Brown Is A Low-Risk Option For Indy
If you look closely at the Colts’ salary scale, three of their highest-paid players – Quenton Nelson ($13.754 million), Braden Smith ($11.567 million), and Ryan Kelly ($9.75 million) – are offensive linemen.
Clearly, Ballard puts a premium on protecting the quarterback and winning games in the trenches.
Brown can do those and then some.
He made almost $12 million in his final year in Seattle in 2021.
Ballard and co. can afford to include Brown in their payroll for the next three seasons or so.
With so much uncertainty at left tackle, #Colts would be wise to pursue All-Pro Duane Brown in free agency.
Unlike Terron Armstead, Brown won’t break the bank on a 1-2 year deal. Great veteran to place alongside Quenton Nelson. pic.twitter.com/PoENVQM2Qv
— Locked On Colts Podcast (@LockedOnColts) March 12, 2022
With Brown keeping edge rushers at bay, new Colts quarterback Matt Ryan should continue ascending in the NFL’s all-time passing yardage record books.
For his part, First-Team All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor should pick up where he left off with Brown in tow.
Brown would also look great wreaking havoc with Nelson on the left side of the Colts’ O-line.
1. He Represents A Huge Upgrade On The O-Line
Matt Pryor is currently the Colts’ best option to replace Eric Fisher at left tackle.
However, if they sign Brown, all bets are off – he’s a better upgrade than Pryor.
Brown is coming off a disappointing season where he allowed 8.0 sacks (sixth-most in the league).
It’s the most he has allowed since his rookie campaign in 2008.
However, it’s not an alarming trend.
We’re hoping the 8.0 sacks Brown allowed was just a fluke: he was a Pro Bowler for the fifth time in his career just one season earlier.
Brown is Indy’s best option in a thin free-agent class of left tackles.
Here’s hoping Brown, Ryan, and T.Y. Hilton (assuming he returns for an eleventh season in 2022) can finally win their first Super Bowl ring as teammates with the Colts.