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And They Talked About Jacob Lacey, Free Agent



Contrary to popular belief, both optimists and pessimists contribute to society, though in significantly different ways. The optimist, you see, invents the airplane, while the pessimist invents the parachute... Yet while we can cut the pessimists in the world some slack, Indianapolis Colts cornerback Jacob Lacey was short on praise in the 2011 NFL season by about 100%. The prevailing opinion around the forum seems to be that if the optimist provides the airplane and the pessimist provides the parachute, Jacob Lacey must provide the upside-down pitchfork for the erstwhile parachuting survivor to land on top of. :)

I knew that the Colts would soon be making a personnel decision in the upcoming weeks about this beleaguered and yet once promising player, and placed him as a possible candidate for a debate between my Heart and my Mind last Thursday night, as voted by the readers of my blog. Lacey won by double digits, and so Thursday evening (Between nose-blowing sessions) my Heart and my Mind launched into the debate about whether or not to keep him.

I put the question to my Heart and my Mind this way: "What do you think the Indianapolis Colts should do with Jacob Lacey? Re-sign him or release him?"

My Heart made the opening statement. "Well, Jacob Lacey certainly struggled this past year, but who didn't? This was a 2-14 team. Every player on the squad felt repercussions. Lacey deserves a new contract, but not for a starting position. He is better served as a nickel or dime corner, and should be paid accordingly."

My Mind chuckled. "Heart, if you keep bringing every free agent we discuss back to this team you'll be over the salary cap before you ever draft a single player. As far as Lacey is concerned, this past season not only exposed his weaknesses, but italicized them, bolded them, underscored them, and then proceeded to highlight them in bright red. Other teams have seen that film too, and he'll never be effective again as a cornerback in this league. He should be released. You're talking about a guy who dropped from 69 tackles his rookie season to 51 and 48 the last two years. He dropped from 13 pass deflections as a rookie to 2 and 6 the next two seasons. He dropped from 3 picks his first season to 1 and 1 the following years. And all of this---while having more playing time on the field and having multiple years to learn the defense!"

My Heart frowned. "Let me give you some of my statistics, Mind, to let you know where I'm coming from. Jacob Lacey certainly has regressed in the last few seasons, but the reason is because he has been forced into a starting role versus the opposing team's best or second best receiver. As a starter in 2011, Lacey allowed a completion percentage of 73%. In 2010, Lacey allowed a completion percentage of 74%. Both of those years, Lacey was playing the other team's best wideouts. However, in 2009, when he played as a nickel and dime package cornerback, he allowed a completion percentage of only 51% and allowed only 5 yards a catch, which incidentally was the 8th lowest in the league. In 2009 he also defended a TD pass, forced 3 fumbles, intercepted 3 passes, and had a pick six. I think my view that Lacey should play as a nickel/dime corner is amply justified, then."

"I see your point, Heart," my Mind replied, "But I believe that my point is justified as well that he has continuously regressed each season. The Colts need a starting cornerback, not another 2nd and 3rd string situational football player! There are plenty of cornerbacks better than or equal to Jacob Lacey around the league who the Colts can sign who would probably cost less than Lacey. Not re-signing him would also free up needed cap space."

I proceeded to end the debate on that note. I asked, "Okay, you've both had a chance to present your views. If Jacob Lacey was re-signed by the Colts, what kind of contract should he get?"

My Mind said, "Well, he signed a 3 year $1,175,000 deal in 2009, and I don't think he's done much to merit a raise. I'd give him an identical deal at best."

My Heart stated, "I'd offer him a 3 year deal worth $1.8 million. It increases his pay enough to reward him for the solid play he'll give the Colts playing situational football in a nickel or dime package, but keeps the cap down on a workable level."

I have placed an outline listing the viewpoints of my Heart and Mind below.

My Mind: Release Lacey!

1. He Is Regressing

2. He Is Not Starting Material

3. He Will Cost Too Much To Keep For Simply Situational Football ($813,000+ Cap Splash Last Year) *Salary $480,000

My Mind: Re-sign Lacey!

1. He Is A Solid Nickel/Dime Corner

2. He Doesn't Give Up Big Plays (Allowing 5 Yards A Catch) *In 2009

3. He Is An Inexpensive Option (Average Pay For A Corner is $1.1+ Million)

Well, I hope you enjoyed the debate between my Heart and my Mind. He was actually a very tough player to analyze; the corner position is not easily assessed and Lacey has been radically inconsistent. Still, he looked good as a situational player in 2009, and the stats were positive. His 51% completion allowance in 2009 matches up with Revis' 41% in 2011 pretty well, if you ask me. But, hope you enjoyed this past week of free agency! Next week we'll focus in on a new subject, and I'm always open to ideas.

God Bless America! 'Til next week!


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As a corner, Jacob Lacey's performance as a corner has not been consistent enough to merit keeping him on our roster. I wish I knew if we had someone on our practice squad with good hands, decent speed, gliding hips, excellent vision, & was a natural at jumping routes. Even looking at our current special teams players might not be a bad idea here.

Gotta let Lacey go. Not reliable enough. Lacey has made a few strides, but not fast enough to justify keeping him.

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Ouch! Honestly we were so awful this year I wouldn't begin to know his role in the mess.

We need starters AND we need depth. So, I leave this to someone else to take the credit and/or blame re: Jacob. My guess is he gets released

BTW, looks like your mind took both sides in the closing argument as well!

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Southwest1: It honestly wouldn't surprise me if he was released or retained, either one, and it wouldn't bother me if he left or stayed either. I loooong for the days of Hayden, Jackson, Jennings, and Powers as the 4 main guys.

Maureen: I know! I thought I knew where I stood before I started really looking at him, but in the end I just had no clue. I think both views are justified, and whatever decision the Colts make won't bother me, as long as he is not our #1 or #2 when the 2012 season kicks off. I'd like to see us hit the cornerback spot in Round 2 this year and a few other rounds as well. We need to address the secondary, add another 'Nevis', and add depth along the O line, as well.

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As a corner, Jacob Lacey's performance as a corner has not been consistent enough to merit keeping him on our roster. I wish I knew if we had someone on our practice squad with good hands, decent speed, gliding hips, excellent vision, & was a natural at jumping routes. Even looking at our current special teams players might not be a bad idea here.Gotta let Lacey go. Not reliable enough. Lacey has made a few strides, but not fast enough to justify keeping him.

Absolutely. Wouldn't it be nice to watch film on the guys that there is no film on! Oh well, we might hit gold this year in the draft or free agency. Cornerback was the underlying problem this year, and has camouflaged the true ability of this team. Even without Peyton this was not a 2-14 team. We stopped the run well, ran the ball well, pass blocked/run blocked well, and rushed the passer well. However, it doesn't amount to a hill of beans if the other team can throw all day.

Pass Rush? No problem, my guys are open because your corners stink!

I Can't Run? No problem, I can just throw it because your corners stink!

You Can Run? No problem, we'll outscore you---I can just throw it because your corners stink!

You Can't Throw? Too bad! I can---because your corners stink!

This was manifested in the KC game this year.

If we can add solid play at the corner position and keep building on the foundations already in place, this team is ready for a major turnaround in 2012.

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It seems like Jacob Lacey always has issues and I find myself cringeing every time the ball is anywhere near him.

Cut him, find someone that can do better, shouldn't be too hard to do.

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The top free agent cornerbacks are Brent Grimes, Cortland Finnegan, Brandon Carr, Carlos Rogers and LaDarius Webb (restricted) depending upon who you listen too. All of these will want to get paid big; Carlos Rogers may not get it because he is 31. If we dump Lacey, then we may have to go out and get old, previously hurt or both.

My thoughts are to dump Lacey and take a chance on someone else. However, I do not want someone that will need a cover two to "cover" up his mistakes. GO COLTS!

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I want to first say that I was impressed as a non-drafted rookie free agent came in and played well. Lacey is still intriguing to me in that while still short at 5'10'' has some seriously long arms. The last to years as WeSpy says have gone south as far as productivity.

Larry Coyer's lax "Cover Nobody," "Bend But Don't Win," "Prevent a Victory" defense made the entire secondary 10 times worse than we were. The Bengal game was also an example of this as Andy Dalton was 17-21 passing. That was the scheme 'allowing' for underneath routes. I said after this game on Colts.com that if we saw this same defense against the Saints it will be a debacle.....hmmm 62-7 qualifies.

I look above and I already think we are int the running for LaDarius Webb due to head cach Pagano and safeties coach Roy Anderson. Back to Lacey:

Bring him in, give him a non-guaranteed contract, and see if he will play like his rookie year. We will have a full camp. If he does not show enough to the coaching staff let him find a new home. I feel that is a 'fair option' to see if he can fit into a more attacking scheme. He did show flashes after Coyer was fired.

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