INDIANAPOLIS – It's time for the news to pick back up around the NFL.
NFL teams have arrived to the Circle City and Wednesday will be the day for new Colts GM Chris Ballard to meet the media at the Combine.
On-field workouts won't begin until Friday and prospects do not sit in front of the media until Thursday.
Here are updates from Day One at the 2017 NFL Combine:
Nick Perry is one of lasting pass rushers with talent (former first rounder who had 11.0 sacks last year) and not north of 30 years old (Perry is 26 years old) potentially bound for the open market. Ironically, Green Bay drafted Perry back in 2012 and he helped ease the transition when Erik Walden hit free agency the following year. Mike McCarthy sounded like a guy who wants Perry, his leading sacker in 2016, back on his defense next season.
Per Over The Cap, the Colts will have $53.2 million in 2017. That's the 7th most in the NFL. The NFLPA finalized the salary cap earlier on Wednesday at $167 million. With free agency starting a week from Thursday, the Colts have some time to see if they can re-sign any of their nine unrestricted free agents.
Seattle's general manager brings up the age-old debate about draft philosophy. Is it "best player available" or "need"? For me, taking the best player available at your highest positions of need is how I would go about drafting guys. That seemed to work out well for the Colts last year in taking four offensive linemen among their eight picks. Will Chris Ballard use the same approach defensively this year?
One of the top free agent cornerbacks in 2017 was nabbed by the franchise tag just hours before the deadline. Re-tooling the personnel at the cornerback position shouldn't be too far off Chris Ballard's thoughts with the offseason really ramping up in the coming days. It's a deep cornerback draft class in 2017, so the Colts could go down that path to find a coverage guy opposite Vontae Davis.
"Mechanics" was an area Marrone spoke specifically about in where the team needs improvement from their starting quarterback. The Jaguars have had the Colts' number of late, but they are still running fourth in a division that saw the other three teams finish .500 or better last season.
Not many people like Andrew Luck more than Bruce Arians. Luck's rookie offensive coordinator, and current Arizona Cardinals head coach, was back gushing about Indy's franchise quarterback on Wednesday. Arians will see Luck up close next season in Indianapolis, when the Cardinals visit the Colts.
While the pass rush position has taken some hits with its depth in recent days, the interior of the defensive line looks to be a little more fertile in 2017. Depending on how the Colts want to move forward with (or without) David Parry, an upgrade at nose tackle could certainly be in the off-season plan. Chris Ballard comes from Kansas City, where the massive Poe was a much more prototypical 3-4 nose tackle position than Parry.
Two recent retirees of the Colts were roaming through the various media setups on Wednesday morning. McAfee, who was using a cane to get around at the Combine, had surgery on his knee last week, the third one he's had in the last four years. With Mathis walking around on Wednesday, it was a reminder of the biggest need the Colts face this offseason---trying to make up for the loss of their all-time sack leader.
Free agency starts a week from Thursday and early reports indicate the Colts and Doyle need some give and take before a deal can be agreed upon. Doyle is arguably the top free agent tight end in 2017. As a former undrafted free agent entering a major pay day, Doyle would be wise to try and secure as lucrative of a contract as he can knowing the leverage he has after a strong 2016 campaign. The Colts have one more week to try and lock up their hometown tight end.
The fan experience at the Combine is growing. Some activities have been moved inside to the Convention Center this year with the growing number of credentialed media. On-field workouts for prospects will begin on Friday, with them starting to meet the media on Thursday afternoon.
Jemal Singleton, the Colts running backs coach, will have a big presence when the running back prospects participate on Friday at the Combine. It's supposedly a very deep running back class in 2017. Singleton will have a hands-on look at the running back group, a position the Colts could very well be looking for with Frank Gore reaching the age of 34.
The analysis from those producing content on Colts.com does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by Colts.com content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.