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Colts Mailbag: What Goes On During Free Agency Visits?

Intro: This week, mailbag readers inquire about the Colts free agency plans, the possibility of drafting Todd Gurley and Reggie Wayne’s future.


INDIANAPOLIS – Each week, readers of can submit their questions to have a chance of them being answered in our Wednesday mailbag.

Here is this week's collection:Matt V (Indianapolis)

What type of interview process do the Colts have when they bring in a free agent to evaluate? Do they run them through drills like at the combine? Go over game film with them? Talk to coaches they have played with? Wine and dine them? Who interviews them-Grigson, Pagano, Irsay, Position coaches? Is the players agent with them?. . etc. . thanks.

Bowen: Matt, this is a great question. Besides the drills standpoint (these don't happen during the free agent visits with guys like Arthur Jones, Hakeem Nicks, etc.), you are pretty spot on with everything you said. All the above could take place. Some players bring agency representation or a marketing person with them on their visit, too. Colts Director of Player Engagement David Thornton is another guy involved in the process of getting to know the player outside of football.

Isak H. (Mexico City)

Are the Colts absolutely ruling out A. Q. Shipley's return? He provides good depth and an awesome insurance for the OL and good versatility. Plus, I want to send my congrats for signing Todd Herremans, he was definitely necessary and a good fit as well.

Bowen: The Colts did not tender Shipley therefore he is a free agent as of yesterday. It remains to be seen what will happen to Shipley on the open market. Shipley is visiting Arizona on Wednesday. If Shipley does not return, the Colts have added two interior guys already this offseason in Herremans and Ben Heenan from the Canadian Football League.

Richard Wolford (Tulsa, Oklahoma)

Do you think the team will retain Reggie Wayne as a coach for future consideration? Thanks Colts Strong 2015

Bowen: Richard, I know Wayne is on record saying he could see himself being involved with the Colts post-playing career (he said this on his weekly radio in December). Now, I don't see this happening for at least a few years (if it even does happen). If Wayne does indeed retire from playing, he has said before that his family would be a major reason why. He has a couple of young boys that I know he would love to spend more time with. Getting into coaching immediately wouldn't allow for much more time with them than he has had as a player.

Carlos Mosley (Georgia)

If Todd Gurley is available to us in the first round, do you think it would be wise to pass up on a running back of his caliber? Despite the injury. Pairing Gurley with Luck in a division and conference that will be owned by us (The Colts) solidifies our chances every year as a championship/Superbowl team.

Bowen: Carlos, the more and more I look into the draft it sounds as if teams are very, very high on Gurley. The ACL injury for Gurley has to worry some but I think teams are looking at the promising long-term future of the Georgia running back. I've seen numerous mock drafts that have Gurley going in the early 20s. I think if he's still there at No. 29 you definitely have to entertain the thought of choosing him. Of course, everything is predicated on what the board looks like at that point of the first round knowing how deep of a running back draft the 2015 class.

Melanie Jettinghoff (Delphos, Ohio)

How is Chuck Paganos Health doing and is he cnacer free now? I think he is the greatest Coach in the world and he has brought this team together to make them the champions they are because his guys truly love him and respect him!! Please tell me his health is great and he is cancer free and will remain the Colts coach for many more years to come!! You know everyone always ask about the players but what about the great coach?

Bowen: Coach Pagano is doing outstanding health wise. He just got back from an eight-day, seven-country trip overseas with the USO. It's perfect timing for Pagano to be back with free agency visits coming this week. I know he is very appreciative of all the support he's received from Colts fans throughout his time in Indianapolis.

Brian McMillan (Deland, Florida)

I would love to see a WR corp that is impossible for teams to double team any one receiver. I'd like to see a veteran like Andre Johnson join the team with a great pickup in the draft. Can you fill me in with your top pick that is a good fit for us at WR in the draft this year ?

Bowen: The "veteran wide receiver" label is one to entertain once free agency begins. You mention the draft and this year's group of pass catchers does look to be another deep one. With receivers T.Y. Hilton (25), Donte Moncrief (21) and Duron Carter (23) in that group, having a veteran presence would be extremely beneficial to the position's development.

Christopher Bagley (Richmond, Viriginia)

As a Colts fan there are many questions i can ask. There is many things i would like to know about. Yet with all the problems with the defense and Luck getting better each year. The only question i want to know is one. What are the real chances of the Colts going to the championship again and getting another chance to try and make it to the Superbowl? I know they aren't done with free agency and the draft but even so what are the real chances do they have?

Bowen: Christopher, I think the Colts have a very realistic chance to play in the Super Bowl next season. Of course, offseason additions are a necessity in order to ultimately reach the next level. Anytime you have a quarterback like Andrew Luck, you have the ideal building block to start. Find reinforcements in the trenches and at running back/safety this offseason and the Colts will have a team built for the longest of playoff runs.

Cory Cardwell (Abingdon, Virginia)

Kevin, I saw where Tyvon branch is gonna talk to the colts. I think this is the exact thing they need to start building the team this off season. what do you think

Bowen: Branch, a former Raiders safety who has been a starter for the last six years in Oakland, must prove his health this offseason. A leg and foot injury the last two seasons has limited him to just five games played. On Tuesday, Branch signed with the Chiefs. The Colts first move at safety this offseason came just after 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday with the re-signing of Mike Adams.

Randall Jones (Virginia)

I've seen mocks where Landon Collins drops to 20 to the eagles. If the eagles trade everything for Mariota, would it be possible that the colts trade up to get him given our safety needs?

Bowen: What the Colts do at safety the rest of the offseason will be a major storyline. No matter what happens during free agency, I'd be very surprised if the Colts did not choose a safety come draft time. Will that be Collins? I don't see that happening. Collins dropping even to No. 20 is a lot to ask for when you are talking about the only, true, clear-cut elite safety in this year's class. Even if the Colts wanted to move up from No. 29 to No. 20, that would cost several picks.

Laurence Foster (Bedford, Texas)

If we spend big in free agency (as rumored). Will it cause financial problems down the road?

Bowen: Every time Ryan Grigson talks about his offseason plans (past and present), he always mentions looking down the road to eventual deals for Andrew Luck (and other key members from the 2012 draft class). People expect the Colts to be big spenders this week (and they were on Day One of free agency) but they will certainly be prudent buyers. Ever since Grigson had to take care of an abundant of dead money in 2012, he's turned the Colts cap situation right around.

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