Offseason Overview: Colts Again a Threat in the AFC

Wayne

FRANCHISE PLAYER: TE Dallas Clark (tendered at $4.522M; then signed 6-year contract).

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

• WR Aaron Moorehead played hurt (back) for most of the season before finally ending up on the team’s injured reserve list. Did not play as well as expected when he was forced to fill in after the knee injury to starter Marvin Harrison. Has probably played his last game with the Colts.

• TE Mike Seidman missed the 2007 season due to a knee injury. He was placed on the team’s injured reserve list early in the year. A tossup on whether he will be brought back.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)

• WR Craphonso Thorpe (not tendered as ERFA) was used primarily as a backup receiver and as a kick returner. Due to injuries at both spots, his playing time in 2007 was a bit more than expected.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED: None.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

• TE Dallas Clark: FFA; $41M/6 yrs, SB unknown.

• TE Bryan Fletcher: RFA; tendered at $927,000; terms unknown.

• OG Dylan Gandy: RFA; $927,000/1 yr.

• S Matt Giordano: RFA; tendered at $927,000; terms unknown.

• DT Ed Johnson: ERFA; $370,000/1 yr.

• OG Ryan Lilja: Potential UFA; terms unknown.

• DT Darrell Reid: RFA; $927,000/1 yr.

• S Bob Sanders: Potential UFA; $37.5M/5 yrs, $20M guaranteed.

• QB Jim Sorgi: Potential UFA; terms unknown.

• DE Josh Thomas: UFA; terms unknown.

PLAYERS LOST

• LB Rocky Boiman: UFA Eagles; 1 yr, terms unknown.

• DT Dan Klecko: UFA Eagles; terms unknown.

• DT Anthony McFarland (released/failed physical).

• LB Rob Morris (released/failed physical).

• OG Jake Scott: UFA Titans; $19.5M/4 yrs, $4M SB/$2M RB.

• TE Ben Utecht: RFA Bengals; $9M/3 yrs, SB unknown (Colts did not match offer and receive no compensation).

The Indianapolis Colts have been the big dogs in the AFC South for the past few seasons, and in 2008 they are looking to once again run the division while trying to get back to the Super Bowl in what will be coach Tony Dungy’s final season with the club. Last year the team was rolling along, and despite winning 13 games was hampered with injuries that finally caught up to them in an upset home loss to the Chargers in the AFC Divisional round. It’s the second time in three seasons the team has lost at home in the divisional round. They move to a new home in 2008, as Lucas Oil Stadium opens their doors to their new team starting with a prime-time game vs the Bears on September 7th.

The offense remains the strong point of the Colts, as last season they averaged 28 points per game, and with Petyon Manning, Joseph Addai, and Reggie Wayne, this team will always be able to score. The team re-signed TE Dallas Clark to a six-year mega deal that will keep him a Colt for a long time, and while some players did leave (OG Jake Scott and TE Ben Utecht the biggest), the team did not take a lot of hits losing players. The draft was basically used to build depth on the O-line with the selection of three centers (1-2 will be moved to other positions) and they also got a steal late with RB Mike Hart from Michigan in the 6th round. Indy will again be one of the top teams in the AFC, and while they have to hold off the Jags and Titans, the end goal again in 2008 will be the Super Bowl in February.

Offseason Grade to Date: C+


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