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.
INDIANAPOLIS — Just a few weeks after the conclusion of Super Bowl LIV, we are getting into the thick of the NFL offseason.
This upcoming Thursday, on Feb. 27, teams may begin designating their upcoming free agents with the franchise or transition tag, securing their rights for another year. With that, it's a pallet cleanser for the beginning of free agency in mid-March.
While the Colts always focus first and retaining their own players who are due to hit the free agent market, this piece will actually focus on others teams' upcoming free agents and who might be good acquisitions for the Colts.
According to Over the Cap, the Indianapolis Colts currently have the second-most salary cap space in the league at approximately $86.1 million.
However, let's first take a look at the Colts' in-house free agents to better understand what their mindset may be when approaching players outside of the organization. This group is broken into what type of free agent each player will be (unrestricted, restricted, exclusive rights):
UFA — OL Josh Andrews, OT Anthony Castonzo, OL Le'Raven Clark, TE Eric Ebron, WR Devin Funchess, S Clayton Geathers, OL Joe Haeg, WR Dontrelle Inman, WR Chester Rogers, DE Jabaal Sheard, K Adam Vinatieri, RB Jonathan Williams
RFA — CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun, DT Trevon Coley, WR Marcus Johnson
ERFA — WR Daurice Fountain, S Rolan Milligan
Looking ahead, we present our Colts.com 2020 Free Agency Big Board. Rather than a typical big board in which players are ranked, we present you our top 20 available free agents for the Colts, listed alphabetically.
The following are all players who are set to become unrestricted free agents on March 18; potential tags their current teams can use on them are not taken into consideration.
|PLAYER||POSITION||2020 AGE||CURRENT TEAM||BREAKDOWN|
|Arik Armstead||Defensive Lineman||26||San Francisco 49ers||Finally producing a breakout season en route to a Super Bowl appearance with the 49ers in 2019, Armstead (6-7, 292) has become an effective, dynamic defensive lineman.|
|Teddy Bridgewater||Quarterback||27||New Orleans Saints||If the Colts are looking for a "bridge" quarterback (pun intended) while they continue evaluating the long-term outlook on their roster, then they could do much worse than a guy who is 22-12 since entering the league.|
|Jadeveon Clowney||Defensive End||27||Seattle Seahawks||Once a division rival, the Colts know exactly what Clowney can do to opposing backfields. You won't always find this much talent and athleticism in one package.|
|Amari Cooper||Wide Receiver||26||Dallas Cowboys||The Cowboys have some really important players that need to get paid. Does that leave Cooper on the outside, looking for a new team? The Colts could be the beneficiary if this big-time playmaker hits the open market.|
|Graham Glasgow||Offensive Lineman||28||Detroit Lions||Glasgow would be a great addition, as he has played center, left and right guard all extensively, and done it well. Versatility is a huge "ability" when it comes to the offensive line.|
|Javon Hargrave||Defensive Tackle||27||Pittsburgh Steelers||At 6-2, 305 pounds, Hargrave provides a stout presence in the middle of the line, and is consistently able to put pressure on the backfield.|
|Shelby Harris||Defensive Tackle||29||Denver Broncos||Speaking of defensive tackles putting pressure on the backfield, Harris set new or tied career highs in tackles (49), tackles for loss (8), sacks (6.0) and pass breakups (9) in 2019.|
|Chris Harris Jr.||Cornerback||31||Denver Broncos||Harris Jr. is getting up there in age, but he hasn't been showing signs of slowing down. His future in Denver has been in question for a couple years now.|
|Hunter Henry||Tight End||25||Los Angeles Chargers||If the Colts and Eric Ebron are indeed parting ways, then they'll need to find a replacement at tight end who brings playmaking ability and can stretch the field. Henry is a great option there.|
|Austin Hooper||Tight End||25||Atlanta Falcons||Like Henry, Hooper is a playmaker at the tight end position. He's been one of Matt Ryan's most relialbe options for a couple years now, and matching him with Jack Doyle would be a huge help for the Colts' quarterback position.|
|D.J. Humphries||Left Tackle||26||Arizona Cardinals||This is in the event that Colts left tackle Anthony Castonzo's situation doesn't get cleared up in the near future. If there are questions surrounding your left tackle, something has to be done in quick order.|
|Byron Jones||Cornerback||28||Dallas Cowboys||Jones tested out of the gym at the Combine before he was drafted, and he followed it up by developing into one of the better cornerbacks in the NFL. Like we've addressed, Dallas has a lot of important money to dish out, and Jones could be left out.|
|Yannick Ngakoue||Defensive End||25||Jacksonville Jaguars||In eight career games against the Colts, Ngakoue has 6.5 sacks, six tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and even an interception. It'd be a lot better time for the Colts if we was on their side for a change.|
|Breshad Perriman||Wide Receiver||27||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||This is a case of trying to decipher between fool's gold and the real thing. After a severely banged-up, inefficient start of his career with the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns, Perriman had a great year in his first season in Tampa, posting career highs across the board.|
|D.J. Reader||Defensive Tackle||26||Houston Texans||Another instance of taking an important defensive lineman from a divison rival, Reader was one of the league's best interior defenders in 2019. At 6-3, 347, does he fit the Colts? He might just be athletic enough to fit the bill.|
|Philip Rivers||Quarterback||38||Los Angeles Chargers||If the Colts take the route of going for a veteran quarterback, Rivers already knows much of what the Colts do from his days playing under Colts head coach Frank Reich and offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni while the three were in San Diego.|
|Brandon Scherff||Guard||28||Washington Redskins||If Scherff's durability concerns (missed 15 games since 2017) are enough for Washington to move on, then the Colts could give a look to the outstanding, three-time Pro Bowl right guard.|
|Joe Thuney||Guard||27||New England Patriots||He doesn't get enough credit, but Thuney has been one of the NFL's best guards for a few years now. Yes, the Colts have an outstanding offensive line, but if there's someone who can help them as an upgrade, they'll look into it.|
|Leonard Williams||Defensive Tackle||26||New York Giants||The former top-10 draft pick has been solid through his first five seasons, but hasn't quite lived up to his draft status yet. Cutting him loose in the controlled chaos of the Colts' defensive front could be what he needs.|
|Jameis Winston||Quarterback||26||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Variety is the spice of life, right? Winston led the NFL in passing yards (5,109) and was second in passing touchdowns (33), but he also led the league in interceptions (30). Perhaps after he underwent lasik eye surgery this offseason, and playing under Reich and Sirianni, that would cut down on the interceptions.|
The following are some of the biggest names of the 2020 free agent class, and while some may consider them longshots to sign in Indianapolis or leave their current team, these guys are always going to generate the most buzz among fans:
|PLAYER||POSITION||2020 AGE||CURRENT TEAM||BREAKDOWN|
|Shaquil Barrett||Defensive End||27||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||This is tricky, as Barrett's previous single-season high in sacks was 5.5, but then he explodes for 19.5 as a full-time starter in 2019. That number is too big to ignore, and Tampa likely sees it the same way.|
|Tom Brady||Quarterback||43||New England Patriots||This fan base doesn't need a history lesson on this guy.|
|Drew Brees||Quarterback||41||New Orleans Saints||From college at Purdue to ending his career in Indianapolis? Not likely; the man is now as New Orleans as Bourbon Street.|
|A.J. Green||Wide Receiver||32||Cincinnati Bengals||Assuming he comes back in 2020 fully healed from 2019's lost season (ankle injury), Green should still have some tread on the tires. Bengals head coach Zac Taylor says they want him back, but regardless, a guy like Green can call just about any shot he wants.|
|Chris Jones||Defensive Tackle||26||Kansas City Chiefs||It's easy to draw parallels between Jones and Colts GM Chris Ballard's time intersecting in Kansas City, but the Chiefs really need this guy.|
|Dak Prescott||Quarterback||27||Dallas Cowboys||With all the important players the Cowboys have to pay, you'd have to think Dak is at the very tip top of the list. If you've got a quarterback, you can't let them go.|
|Ryan Tannehill||Quarterback||32||Tennessee Titans||This is a very interesting situation with Tannehill. He successfully checked off the "prove it" box and then some in Tennessee, so now what kind of contract do they offer him, assuming they want him back?|