Colts Sign Kris Adams, Officially Waive Kevin Eagan

Earlier today we reported that the Colts had released undrafted rookie DE Kevin Eagan after he left the team and reportedly is quitting football.  Just a few hours later, we at least got confirmation that the Colts released him.  Per the Colts’ owner Jim Irsay, the team released Eagan and signed wide receiver Kris Adams.

Adams (6-3, 194 pounds) was signed by the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent last year out of UTEP.  He was signed to the Bears’ practice squad, then spent time on the St. Louis Rams’ practice squad and finally the Minnesota Vikings’ practice squad, where he finished the season.

Based on his history and some other guys ahead of him, I have a hard time seeing Adams having a different role on the Colts.

Colts Sign T.Y. Hilton, Korey Lindsey; Waive Micah Pellerin

The Indianapolis Colts today signed one of their third round draft picks, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, claimed cornerback Korey Lindsey off of waivers from Atlanta and waived safety Micah Pellerin.

T.Y. Hilton was selected by the Colts in the 3rd round of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Florida International.  Following the draft, I gave the pick a C+.  Hilton is a speedy slot receiver who will help the Colts tremendously in the return game, as long as he stays healthy.

The signing leaves just the Colts’ first three picks – quarterback Andrew Luck and tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen – unsigned.

Korey Lindsey, a 5-10, 194 pound corner, was drafted in the 7th round of the 2011 draft by the Cincinnati Bengals after being a two-time AP first-team All-American at Southern Illinois.  However, the Bengals released Lindsey during preseason roster cutdowns.  He was them signed by the Arizona Cardinals to their practice squad.  For a corner needy Colts team, this is not a bad signing to provide depth.  That said, I am always weary of guys who are released by the team that drafted them before they even suit up for a regular season game.

Micah Pellerin was signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent this offseason out of Hampton.

Bill Polian is at it again

Bill Polian is the greatest football executive ever to live and should be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  Currently, he is on ESPN, and I love his analysis and think he does a tremendous job there.  Colts fans were truly lucky to have a football executive like Bill Polian running the show. 

That said, however, Polian did not have a way of connecting with fans in a good way, or the media for that matter.  Sometimes he would say things thinking that the fans were stupid and would not realize he was saying something dumb, where in reality that was not the case.  That happened again a few days ago. 

In Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback for this week (which is one of the best weekly columns there is), King looks at the trade deadline being moved back from week 6 to week 8.  He uses Kyle Orton as the perfect example, and it is indeed a perfect example.  Denver certainly could have gotten something for him, but instead had to release him.  King has quotes from Bill Polian saying that they would have gone after Orton had the trade deadline been moved back:

“I think the deadline being moved last year would have made a difference for us.  We would have rekindled our interest in Orton. In Week 6, we knew our quarterback situation wasn’t great, but after a couple more weeks, we realized the situation was bad. We probably would have called Denver, who’d gone to [Tim] Tebow by then, and said, ‘Hey, we’ll give you a three [a third-round draft choice] for Orton.’ ”

King later says that a source within the Denver organization would have accepted the 3rd rounder in exchange for Orton.  There is no doubt in my mind that if the Colts had acquired Kyle Orton, that they would have been better than 2-6 to finish the season.  That in return would mean that Peyton Manning would still be a Colt and Andrew Luck would not be.  It is crazy how much one thing as seemingly insignificant as moving the trade deadline back two weeks could impact a season so much.  However, Polian implies that they wished they would have had a chance at Orton but that they did not.  That is absolutely false.

When the Denver Broncos released Kyle Orton, the Colts had the first spot on the waiver order, meaning that all they had to do was put in a claim for Orton and he was a Colt.  But they didn’t.  The Colts passed on Kyle Orton.  Polian is absolutely right in saying that Orton would have been better than their options at quarterback.  But he had a chance to claim Orton and did not.  Maybe he really did not want to risk losing the number one overall pick, but is now trying to cover up for himself. 

Bill Polian is too smart of a man to keep making these kinds of comments to the media.  If he treated the media and the fans better, I seriously believe he would still be in Indianapolis.  I think that a 2-14 season was only part of the reason he got fired, and the other part was the way he acted.  For such a great football mind, I hope that Bill Polian thinks before he speaks, because he comes off as an idiot way too often.

Colts Struggling to Sell Tickets

For the last decade, Colts tickets have been the toughest tickets to get in town.  Over their past 114 regular season and playoff games at home, they have sold out 113.  And then they released the greatest player in Indianapolis history.

Post-Peyton Manning, the Colts are struggling to sell tickets.  They have 3,000 season tickets available, and as a result have hired Indianapolis marketing firm Get Real Sports Sales to help market them.  Due to NFL rules, if a team fails to sell out the game is blacked out locally.  However, chief operating officer Pete Ward said Tuesday that “We’re not anticipating being blacked out”, per the Indianapolis Star.

The post-Peyton slump in ticket sales is in no way a surprise.  And come September, I bet the Colts will be sold out.  But if the prices of tickets remains the same, people will not want to spend their hard-earned money to watch a bad team, which the Colts figure to be next year.  I still think they will sell out, but my point is that this should come as no surprise. 

And the argument that since the Pacers had trouble selling tickets even when they were winning that the Colts will too when they win is not accurate.  In the NBA, stars sell tickets.  In the NFL, quarterbacks sell tickets.  Whether right or wrong, that is how it is.  The Pacers do not have a star player.  The Colts have a quarterback.  The Colts will not have trouble selling tickets with Andrew Luck at the helm.  Three or four years from now, Colts tickets will once again be the hottest tickets in town. 

Many of the season tickets available are upper level seats.  For more information, call 299-4946.

Colts Sign 5th Round Pick Josh Chapman

Last week I mentioned that there were rumors that Josh Chapman had agreed to a deal with the Colts.  Turns out it was true, and today it was made official.

The Colts today signed nose tackle Josh Chapman to a four year deal.  Chapman was selected in the 5th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Colts.  Following the draft I gave the pick an A – and said that it was in my opinion the best value pick for the Colts.  Hopes are that Chapman can be a very good NT in the middle of the Colts’ defensive line.

The concern about Chapman is that he is coming off of a torn ACL that he suffered last year.  However, Chapman played through it and helped anchor an Alabama defense that was one of the best in the country.

For Ryan Grigson, this draft is about more than just ten picks

I was recently talking to a friend about the Colts upcoming draft.  He is a Colts fan, and he made the comment that he wished that Bill Polian were still running the show, because he had confidence that Polian knew how to build a team and knew what he was doing.  My friend remarked that he did not have the confidence in Ryan Grigson yet, an unproven first time general manager. 

 Why is it that Bill Polian, who has not had good draft classes in the past few years (although that may be due to his son Chris), still has the confidence of fans? 

Bill Polian is quite possibly the greatest drafting general manager of all time.  Polian certainly knew how to build a team.  He took two different franchises to multiple super bowls (Buffalo and Indianapolis) and took a third to the doorstep of the super bowl in just their second year of existence (Carolina). 

 Today, as Ryan Grigson confirmed that Andrew Luck will be the Colts selection, I thought about how big of a draft this is for him.  This is about more than just 10 players for Grigson: this is about a legacy, about establishing confidence, and about laying a solid foundation.  

Quite frankly, Ryan Grigson must nail this draft.  He must.  He has 10 picks, and those 10 picks will go a LONG way to establishing his reputation and trust among fans.  In 1998, Bill Polian nailed his first draft for the Colts.  He selected Peyton Manning, Jerome Pathon, E.G. Green, Steve McKinney, Antony Jordan, Aaron Taylor, and Cory Gaines.  That was a very good draft class, highlighted by Peyton Manning.  

Ryan Grigson also has a star quarterback to highlight his draft class.  But no one will give Grigson credit for drafting Andrew Luck, as they have Polian for taking Manning in ’98.  Jim Irsay knew he was taking Luck all along, anyways.  It will be the other 9 picks that go a long way in determining Grigson’s legacy.  It will be the other 9 picks that we will be following so closely.  While Luck will be the one most talked about (and rightly so – he is an incredible player), the picks that Colts fans are interested in the most are picks 2-10.  What is Ryan Grigson’s draft strategy?  How is he going to build the team?  What positions does he think are most important?  How are his picks going to play out?  Some of those will be answered on draft day, others a few years down the road.  But we will eventually be looking back on this draft as either the foundation for a great team or the reason things did not work out.  Bill Polian laid a solid foundation in his first draft.  Ryan Grigson must do the same.

Because right now, whether right or wrong, much of Colts nation would rather have Polian drafting than Grigson, even though Polian’s last few drafts have been bad.  Only Grigson can change that.  This is a big week for him.  

He must nail this draft, not only for his legacy, but for the good of the team.  The team absolutely needs this, and they need to get fans coming back to their games.  

The pressure is on, Ryan Grigson.  You are on the clock, and Colts nation eagerly awaits your every move.

Will Dwight Freeney be Traded?

There has been quite a bit of talk today about whether or not the Indianapolis Colts’ star defensive end Dwight Freeney will be part of a draft day trade. 

First off, let me say that I could see it happening, but I do not expect it.  Secondly, for the right price, I definitely think the Colts should do it.  If they like a player enough (like, for example, Coby Fleener), trading Freeney would likely allow the Colts to move into the first round for another pick.

Why would the Colts trade Freeney?  For one, I do not think that he will translate well into Chuck Pagano’s 3-4 scheme (where Freeney and Robert Mathis will be linebackers).  Mathis does, but I think Freeney is much better in a 4-3 defense.

Lastly, the Colts no longer “need” Freeney just to keep fans interested.  Before, when the rumors were swirling about a possible Freeney trade, it is quite possible that they did not want to trade Freeney to keep the fans buying tickets.  Well, guess what… Colts fans did not buy tickets anyways.  So the Colts fans basically told Jim Irsay that even with Freeney, they were not interested.  So if the Colts are rebuilding (and they most definitely are), why not trade Freeney also?

Bottom line is that I could definitely see the Colts trading Dwight Freeney on draft day.  That said, I do not expect it.

Just another storyline to keep track of this week.

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