BOCA RATON, Fla. – In a way, this offseason has a 2012 feel for Ryan Grigson.
The Colts are facing a cap situation they haven't experienced since Grigson's rookie season as an NFL General Manager.
Four offseasons ago, Grigson encountered a team desperately needing to scratch and claw to find cap room.
Drafting successfully was a must, with the team having to part ways with several pillar Colts.
Now, in 2016, Grigson has the Colts standing on the foundation of 41 wins in four seasons.
The quarterback is in place, but his cap number is about to spike.
With that, another important draft awaits the Colts GM.
Here are 5 takeaways from Grigson's media session at the NFL's Annual Meetings:
Free Agency Not Over
Free agency is two weeks old. It certainly isn't over for the Indianapolis Colts. Past years have proven that (an April signing of Dwight Lowery and a June inking of Mike Adams). Ryan Grigson spoke on Tuesday to how he's still evaluating possible free agent fits that could slide into the team's financial picture. With Grigson down in Florida, he has his iPad close by to make sure no potential name slips past the Colts' attention. Grigson once again said on Tuesday that there are players throughout the team's roster the staff is eager to see in the offseason program.**
Similar Offseason To 2012**
Patience. That is the common theme for the Colts this offseason. Think back to that 2012 offseason and any extensive additions were virtually non-existent for the Colts (outside of a Canadian Football Leaguer named Jerrell Freeman). The major difference the Colts have this offseason compared to '12 is a young core to build around, especially on offense. The Colts aren't searching for a franchise quarterback (Andrew Luck), a top tight (Dwayne Allen) or their future at wide receiver (T.Y. Hilton), all of which they found in 2012. That's why the focus now is on building off last year's rookie defensive haul (Henry Anderson, Clayton Geathers, David Parry and potentially D'Joun Smith) and bolstering the offensive line.**
Dwayne Allen Fits Colts' Scheme**
Speaking of Allen, Ryan Grigson pointed to the Colts' new offensive scheme as the major reason why the decision was made to retain No. 83. As a "tenacious and powerful" in-line blocker, Allen fits what Rob Chudzinski is looking for out of his tight end. This is something to keep in mind when thinking about possible additions for the Colts this offseason. How Chud and Ted Monachino want to run their respective schemes is directly going to impact the traits scouts will be seeking through the draft/free agency process.**
Inside Linebacker Competition Has Starting Experience**
In losing Jerrell Freman to the Bears, the Colts are seeing a four-year starter exit. Who will start next to D'Qwell Jackson is going to be a storyline to watch in the coming months. Sio Moore (22 career starts) and Nate Irving (14 career starts) will have a say in that open competition. Moore and Irving were acquisitions last offseason that could really see their playing time expand in Year Two.**
Don't Rule Out Running Back**
"We're not done there probably," was Ryan Grigson's comment to potentially adding another running back at some point this offseason. In the past week, the Colts have inked veteran backs Robert Turbin and Jordan Todman to add experience behind Frank Gore. Grigson isn't ruling out a young back come draft time, which is something that has to be explored as Gore hits the age of 33.