INDIANAPOLIS – Sunday could be the final game for several Indianapolis Colts.
That's the nature of the NFL with roster turnover in free agency something that occurs every season, for every team.
As the Colts close out 2016, they are seeing several pending free agents making strong cases to be re-signed in the coming months.
Coming into 2016, it was unknown how active the Colts would be in bringing back their own. But the play of the handful of guys below could have changed that for sure.
Here are five unrestricted free agents to watch going into 2017:
- S-Mike Adams (35):Judging by Adams' emotions after Saturday's loss in Oakland, he wants to keep playing. Adams has given no indication of retirement after 13 seasons. The Colts drafted T.J. Green in the second round last year. Do they want to turn to the future in '17 and put Green into the starting lineup? Despite his age, Adams has been durable (just four missed games since 2008) and the best secondary playmaker for the Colts (12 picks in three seasons with Indy). How the Colts project Green, the position going forward for Clayton Geathers and the role for Darius Butler will impact their likeliness in bringing Adams back for a 14th NFL season.
- CB/S-Darius Butler (30):With the season Butler has had in 2016, you could make a strong argument he's extended his career and strengthened his market value for free agency. Butler has played (pretty much) strictly safety for the past two months. The ability to play nickel and/or safety has to make Butler attractive, even though he's reached 30 years old. Similar to Adams, how the Colts view the young safety questions will dictate how big of a priority Butler is in 2017. This staff has talked about the comfort they have with using Butler at the safety position.
- TE-Jack Doyle (26):How many people had Jack Doyle (57 catches in 68 targets, 574 yards and 4 touchdowns) with better stats than Coby Fleener (47 catches in 72 targets, 593 yards and 3 touchdowns) this season? Outside of the eastside of Indianapolis, where Doyle grew up, everyone else can put their hands down. Doyle's catch percentage is one of the NFL's best and he has yet to miss a game due to injury in four seasons with the Colts. That's likely going to make Doyle attractive as a No. 1 tight end elsewhere. Will the Colts be able to match those potential offers, considering the money they already gave Dwayne Allen?
- RB-Robert Turbin (27):Turbin talks like a guy who definitely wants to be back in 2017. After signing a one-year deal in the 2016 off-season, Turbin has been outstanding in his lone season with the Colts. From third-down productivity, to seemingly always moving the chains on short-yardage runs, Turbin's role behind Frank Gore has been very steady. The Colts have longed for a player who can fill the role Turbin has done this season. With Frank Gore under contract for 2017, the Colts will have the chance to bring back their 1-2 punch at running back. Even if Gore and Turbin return in 2017, that should not rule out taking a running back come draft time.
- OLB-Erik Walden (31):In a contract year, Walden is probably this team's Defensive MVP. A career-high 10-sack season for Walden has been much needed. Walden isn't the only older pass rusher entering free agency for the Colts. Trent Cole and Robert Mathis are also hitting the open market. The Colts need new/younger faces at outside linebacker, but losing Walden would lead to a serious facelift amongst that group. Bringing back Walden, along with adding some younger bodies around him off the edge, would make a lot of sense.