INDIANAPOLIS — Margus Hunt is back to build upon his career year with the Indianapolis Colts.
The Colts today announced that they have re-signed the veteran defensive lineman, who was set to become an unrestricted free agent when the league’s new year began on March 13.
Hunt, who will turn 32 just before the start of training camp this year, was a free agent signing by the Colts back in March 2017, after the former second-round pick had spent the first four seasons of his career with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Hunt had a solid first season in Indy as a spot starter in 2017, posting a then-career high 29 total tackles, including six tackles for loss, to go along with one sack, seven quarterback hits and two passes defensed.
But with the team changing to a completely new defensive front, the 4-3, in 2018, Hunt, at 6-foot-8, 298 pounds, was originally seen by many outside the organization as a player without a set role heading into the season.
Hunt quickly changed some minds, however.
Mostly starting out at defensive end before moving more inside for much of the second half of the season, Hunt collected career highs in tackles (30), tackles for loss (13), sacks (5.0), and he also added six quarterback hits, two passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
His play was key for a Colts’ defensive unit that made a major overall improvement in 2018, finishing 11th in total defense, and eighth against the run.
“Margus is a unique guy inside because of his length,” Colts general manager Chris Ballard said of Hunt on Jan. 14. “Putting him at the three (technique) and the one (technique) it really kind of accentuated on what he is really good at. We were fortunate to have Margus.”
Hunt will be counted on to once again be a key piece for a Colts defensive line that will continue to be molded and shaped by Ballard and head coach Frank Reich and his staff.
Four other key contributors — Denico Autry, Jabaal Sheard, Tyquan Lewis and Kemoko Turay — are also back in 2019, as are the likes of Al-Quadin Muhammad, Grover Stewart, Hassan Ridgeway, Carroll Phillips and Jihad Ward.
The Colts also signed defensive end Anthony Winbush and defensive tackle DeShawn Williams to reserve/future contracts earlier this offseason.