The Indianapolis Colts head into the 2021 offseason with some questions that need to be answered. One of the most important of those questions being whether they will retain Philip Rivers for another season or whether they will let him walk and bring in a fresh signal caller at the position.
The Colts made the playoffs in the highly competitive AFC and they have some very solid pieces to build around. Some of those solid core pieces include running back Jonathan Taylor, wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr, cornerback Isaiah Rodgers, and one of the best offensive lines in the entire NFL.
The Colts have the luxury that most other playoff teams don’t, the ability to basically sign whoever they want. The Colts have the most cap space in the entire NFL and could use that to add some serious talent to their roster.
Indianapolis only has a few major needs. Quarterback, wide receiver, defensive end, and defensive back are some areas the Colts need to look to address in the free agency period.
Here’s a look at four players the Colts should sign in the upcoming offseason.
Jameis Winston, Quarterback
The Indianapolis Colts, if Philip Rivers decides to hang up the cleats, will not have a quarterback capable of taking them back to the playoffs in 2021. If Rivers wants to come back for another season, it’s unsure if Frank Reich will want to re-sign him or go with some youth at the position, but the Colts should certainly pursue Jameis Winston anyways.
Winston, 27, is currently a backup to Drew Brees in New Orleans with the Saints, but it’s uncertain whether he’ll re-sign with the team or not. Winston took a very team friendly deal, just $1.1 million, to learn under Sean Payton and Brees, which could set him up for a big payday. Winston is considered to be one of the top free agent quarterbacks on the market and could easily be paid accordingly.
Obviously, Winston didn’t get much playing time in 2020 with the Saints, but he does have some very valuable NFL experience. Winston has completed 61.4 percent of his passes in the NFL while accumulating 19,812 passing yards, 121 passing touchdowns, and 88 interceptions.
If the Colts want to take a small risk on some big talent, Winston would be the way to go.
Chris Godwin, Wide Receiver
The Colts are likely going to lose two of their star wide receivers in TY Hilton and Zach Pascal to the free agent market, but the Colts can afford to upgrade at the position anyways. A guy they should keep their eyes on is Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin.
Godwin, 24, is part of the Tampa Bay ferris wheel of weapons for Tom Brady and the Bucs and could decide to depart from the team in free agency this year. Godwin is one of the top tier receivers in this year’s free agency class and could benefit more from being pursued by a team like the Colts rather than re-signing with the Bucs.
He could be the number one receiver in Indianapolis, which is likely what he wants to be if he departs in free agency. If the Colts manage to land a talented player like Godwin, they could stay in playoff contention for years to come.
Justin Simmons, Safety
The Colts already declined the fifth-year option of safety Malik Hooker prior to the season, meaning he will be a free agent following the season. His departure leaves a very big vacancy at the safety position and they can afford to grab the biggest name on the market in Justin Simmons.
Being a playoff team and having a surplus amount of cap space is an absolutely lethal combination. The Colts are going to be a very scary team if they can land some defensive studs like Simmons.
Simmons was named to the Pro Bowl this season after recording 96 tackles, three tackles for a loss, five interceptions, and nine passes defended.
There is no doubt that Simmons will be the highest paid safety out of the free agency class this season and the Colts should cash in on the talented defensive back.
Jadeveon Clowney, Defensive End
For whatever reason, the NFL just seems to want Jadeveon Clowney on the Colts. That actually makes sense considering the fact that they need a defensive end to pair up with Justin Houston, who is set to hit free agency as well.
Clowney is a very talented player, but injuries have slowed him down a lot in his NFL career thus far. However, the Colts have been decently productive with players not even close to the level of Clowney, which is why they could give the former number one overall pick a shot.
He spent the 2020 season with the Tennessee Titans, but couldn’t stay healthy and ended up needing a season-ending surgery to try to get back up to speed. If the Colts take a chance on Clowney, it could be a great move that pays significant dividends.