INDIANAPOLIS — March 13 — circle that date on your calendar.
That is the start of the “New League Year,” and, at 4 p.m. ET, the start of free agency.
And while the Indianapolis Colts and general manager Chris Ballard will be considering bringing aboard many different players from the outside once that period begins, Ballard and his personnel crew, as well as head coach Frank Reich and his staff, will convene over the next few weeks to determine which of their own pending free agents they’d like to see return to the team this offseason.
Just who are the Colts’ free agents heading into 2019? Here’s a comprehensive list:
Unrestricted Free Agents (11): A player whose contract has expired and has four or more tenured years in the league. He may sign with any other team with no restrictions.
» Cornerback Pierre Desir: Desir put in a career year in his first season as the Colts’ top cornerback. In 16 games with 12 starts, he finished with 79 total tackles (two for a loss) and logged one interception, eight passes defensed, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
» Safety Clayton Geathers: A team captain, Geathers fought through various injuries throughout the 2018 season to play, and start, in 12 games, finishing with a career-high 86 tackles (one for a loss) with two quarterback hits, three passes defensed and one forced fumble, while also adding three special teams tackles.
» Linebacker Najee Goode: In 2018, Goode appeared in 16 games and had six tackles (two solo) with one interception (the first of his career), one pass defensed and 10 special teams stops. His blocked punt in the Divisional Round of the playoffs against the Kansas City Chiefs was recovered in the end zone by Zach Pascal for the Colts’ first score of the game.
» Wide receiver Ryan Grant: Grant, who battled injuries midway through the regular season, and then again during the Colts’ two playoff games, finished his first year in Indianapolis with 35 receptions for 334 yards and one touchdown in 14 total games played with 10 starts.
» Defensive end Geneo Grissom: Signed as a free agent on Jan. 1, Grissom appeared in Indy’s two postseason games, logging seven special teams snaps in the Wild Card Round matchup against the Houston Texans, and 13 special teams snaps the following week in the Divisional Round against the Chiefs.
» Tight end Ryan Hewitt: Hewitt in 2018 appeared in 12 games with two starts for the Colts, and his only reception on the season was his first-career touchdown, a one-yard score against the Tennessee Titans Week 17. Hewitt was the 13th different receiver to catch a touchdown from quarterback Andrew Luck in the regular season, tying an NFL record.
» Wide receiver Dontrelle Inman: Signed as a free agent Oct. 16, Inman provided a solid veteran presence and playmaker for the Colts’ offense. In nine games played with four starts, he finished with 28 receptions for 304 yards and three touchdowns, while also logging eight catches for 108 yards and another score in Indy’s two postseason contests.
» Safety Mike Mitchell: Another key veteran midseason acquisition, Mitchell, signed Oct. 9, played in eight games with four starts, and had 28 tackles (22 solo), one interception, two forced fumbles and one pass defensed. His seven-tackle, one-interception, one-forced fumble performance Week 7 in a win over the Buffalo Bills earned him AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career.
» Tackle J’Marcus Webb: Signed in training camp due to a bevy of injuries at the tackle position, Webb earned the start at right tackle in the Colts’ Week 1 opener against the Cincinnati Bengals, but would suffer a season-ending hamstring injury in that contest. Webb was believed to be a possible candidate for the Colts’ return-from-IR spots, but the team ultimately decided to use its second and final return spot on tackle/guard Joe Haeg.
» Safety J.J. Wilcox: Signed as a free agent Dec. 18, Wilcox would appear in two regular-season contests with the Colts, finishing with five tackles and two special teams stops, while also starting in Indy’s Divisional Round matchup against the Chiefs, finishing with six tackles and a pass defensed in that contest.
» Defensive tackle Al Woods: Another team captain, Woods in 2018 played in 14 games with eight starts and finished with 24 tackles (10 solo; one for a loss) and one pass defensed before suffering a foot injury in the Colts’ Week 15 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.
Restricted Free Agents (4): A player whose contract has expired and has fewer than four tenured years in the league. He may sign an "Offer Sheet" with any other team, but his original team has seven days to match any offer he receives. If the original team does not match the offer, compensation will be awarded in the form of draft picks from the signing team. The round and quantity of picks are determined by the "Qualifying Offer" made by the player's original team. If a RFA is tendered a minimum qualifying offer the compensation is the equivalent of the round in which that player was originally selected. If that player was originally a rookie free agent, no compensation is awarded.
» Center/guard Evan Boehm: Signed to the Colts’ active roster from the Los Angeles Rams’ practice squad on Oct. 8, Boehm played a critical role as the team’s backup center as starter Ryan Kelly dealt with various injuries throughout the season. Boehm appeared in 11 total games with four starts, while also appearing in both of the Colts’ postseason contests, contributing on offense and special teams.
» Safety Matthias Farley: The third-year veteran was off to a solid start in 2018 before suffering a season-ending wrist injury Week 5 against the Patriots. He played in five games with one start, collecting 17 tackles (10 solo), one forced fumble, one interception, four passes defensed and two special teams stops.
» Safety Corey Moore: Another key special teams contributor, Moore played in 15 games for the Colts in 2018, finishing with four tackles (three solo) and adding his first-career interception, one pass defensed and eight special teams stops.
» Wide receiver Chester Rogers: Rogers put in a career year as a receiver and as the Colts’ punter returner in 2018. In 16 games with 10 starts, he logged 53 receptions for 485 yards and two touchdowns — all career highs — while also returning 23 punts for 215 yards (9.3 yards per return), including a career-long 51-yard punt return Week 11 against the Titans.
Exclusive Rights Free Agents (2): Players whose contracts have expired and have two or fewer tenured years in the league. The Colts must make a contract offer by the league-imposed deadline of 4 p.m. ET March 13, or the players become unrestricted free agents.
» Wide receiver Marcus Johnson: Acquired by the Colts in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks just before the start of the regular season, Johnson would appear in five games in 2018 before suffering a season-ending ankle injury Week 6 against the New York Jets. In all, he logged six receptions for 102 yards and his first-career touchdown, a 34-yard reception earlier in that Jets contest.
» Long snapper Luke Rhodes: Rhodes turned in another solid year in just his second season of long snapping for the Colts in 2018. He appeared in all 16 regular season and two postseason contests and showed off his background as a linebacker by collecting four special teams tackles in coverage.
Re-signed Free Agents (5)
» Guard Mark Glowinski: Glowinski, who was set to become an unrestricted free agent, was signed to a contract extension Jan. 29. In 11 games played, with nine starts, Glowinski was the 10th-highest rated guard in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus.
» Kicker Adam Vinatieri: Vinatieri, an unrestricted free agent-to-be, was signed to a contract extension Jan. 28, keeping the league's all-time leader in points scored and made field goals with the Colts for a 24th NFL season in 2019.
» Tight end Ross Travis: Travis, a restricted free agent-to-be who was signed to a contract extension Feb. 26, was looking to earn a spot on the Week 1 roster last year when he suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Colts’ preseason finale against the Cincinnati Bengals. In two seasons with the Chiefs and the Colts, Travis has played in 21 games with six starts and has 10 receptions for 91 yards.
» Defensive end Margus Hunt: Hunt, who was set to become an unrestricted free agent, was signed to a contract extension March 5. He enjoyed a career year playing both off the edge and inside in the Colts’ new 4-3 defensive scheme in 2017; in 15 games Hunt logged career-highs in total tackles (30), tackles for loss (13), sacks (5.0), forced fumbles (one) and fumble recoveries (one), while also adding six quarterback hits and two passes defensed.
» Cornerback Chris Milton: One of the Colts’ top special teams contributors, Milton — who was re-signed to a one-year extension on March 13 — in 2018 played in 15 games and finished with three tackles (two solo) on defense, as well as seven special teams stops and a fumble recovery. He added two tackles and a forced fumble in two postseason games for Indy.
Not Returning (1)
» Guard Matt Slauson: Slauson on Feb. 6 announced his retirement after 10 NFL seasons, the last of which he spent in Indianapolis. Slauson immediately changed the direction of the Colts’ offensive line upon his signing last offseason. He started the team’s first five games at right guard before suffering a season-ending back injury Week 5 against the New England Patriots, but stayed close with his fellow offensive linemen the rest of the season in a player-coach hybrid role of sorts.