It seems kind of weird that it wasn't diagnosed before now.
Definitely need to be looking into guards in FA: Andrew Norwell, James Hurst and Zach Fulton. We have the money...spend it on protecting the QB!!!
Someone to look out for is Mychael Kendricks from PHI. He's under contract with PHI, but they are over the cap, especialy with the Jeffrey extension. Seems like a possible cap casualty. But I might be willing to throw a 7th round pick to PHI for him just to not have to bid against other teams...and because his base salary isn't that crazy the next couple of seasons. He seems like a great fit at WILL.
Nigel Bradham is the better option from PHI and he actually is a FA. But I think PHI will do what they need to keep him as they are competing for the Super Bowl for the next couple of seasons. And I think Simon can play the SAM.
I am interested in Christian Jones. I really liked him before the 2014 NFL Draft and then he went undrafted because of a failed drug test. That seems to be past him...and I think he's a better fit with Colts defense now than he was a few years ago. Not sure if CHI will let him get away.
Gerald Hodges could be worth a flyer as well as depth. I would invite Arthur Brown to camp as well.
The draft has a lot of good options as well. 4-3 LBs (outside of elite MLBs) tend to be undervalued, so there should be a handful of athletic LBs available in the middle rounds that the Colts could look at...and I expect we will see Ballard grab at least one...maybe someone like Josey Jewelll...another former Iowa Hawkeye to pair with Hitchens (teams like to do that kind of stuff).
I think Ballard will be able to get Hitchens to be the leader of the defense...and then pick up another LB in FA or via trade...and then draft 1-2 to develop.
Let me clarify. I don't think he's a average or a bad receiver. I think he's pretty darn good. I don't think he'd be easily replaced either. That's where I don't agree with Big Joe and Grady. Where I do agree with them is that he does get taken away in a game too often. Now some of that is due to what you said above about being the only true weapon at WR. Especially when Moncrief couldn't catch a dang thing. That said, he's too inconsistent for me to consider him to be a great/elite receiver. In my opinion, those two words are the same. So I think we actually are in agreement that he's a dang good receiver, definitely top 5. But he's not an elite receiver like Reggie Wayne or Marvin either and we shouldn't expect him to be
I think it's going to be really hard to get Norwell here. I think he was ranked the 6th best overall offensive lineman in 2017 by PFF, and according to them didn't allow a sack or pressure all year - and pass blocking was his less developed skill... he had a monster contract year on the field. He's about to paid an obscene amount.
My guess is the old Panthers GM gets him signed for the most egregious guard contract in NFL history on the Giants. That said, they are middle of the road in cap space, with about 1000 holes to fill too, so who knows. The Browns and especially the Bengals worry me too, as he's an Ohio kid through and through.