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Ballard: Colts locker room can handle a 'big name' free agent

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Just now, NewColtsFan said:

You may be right, but I certainly hope you’re wrong.   Because if you’re right, there will not be much money left to sign many (any?) free agents.  
 

We've all been expecting a class bigger than the standard two very good players, one on offense, one in defense.  Where did all the money go?  

 

I think he's talking about cash spending to satisfy the 4-year 89% threshold. The Colts have ~$86m in cap space this offseason...they just need to spend an additional $43M in cash (through guarantees and base salaries) to get to the 89% cash spend threshold over the 2017-2020 period.

 

On a side note...the Colts cash spending vs. cap has been on average a ratio of 1.10...so $43M in cash (per the OTC report) would actually be about $39M in cap space. 

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4 minutes ago, NewColtsFan said:

You may be right, but I certainly hope you’re wrong.   Because if you’re right, there will not be much money left to sign many (any?) free agents.  
 

We've all been expecting a class bigger than the standard two very good players, one on offense, one in defense.  Where did all the money go?  

 

Stitches already responded, so just to echo, we have plenty more cap space. 

 

I'm only responding to the mistaken idea that the Colts MUST spend money in free agency because of the minimum spend requirement. I've been saying it for a while now, and now it's here, so I'm saying it again. Take care not to talk yourself into the idea that Ballard is going to spend big in free agency out of necessity.

 

IF he spends more money than we're used to seeing this offseason, it won't be because he has to hit the minimum. 

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If we cut/trade JB and Hoyer we will save about 12M. (if the Rivers thing is real)

 

I wonder... will Rivers be good with say... 15M? Or will he want a legit franchise QB type of money? 

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2 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

Stitches already responded, so just to echo, we have plenty more cap space. 

 

I'm only responding to the mistaken idea that the Colts MUST spend money in free agency because of the minimum spend requirement. I've been saying it for a while now, and now it's here, so I'm saying it again. Take care not to talk yourself into the idea that Ballard is going to spend big in free agency out of necessity.

 

IF he spends more money than we're used to seeing this offseason, it won't be because he has to hit the minimum. 

 

This is true... BUT... keep in mind that no team ever has failed to meet the minimum requirement. 

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4 minutes ago, stitches said:

This is the MINIMUM we have to spend. We still can spend a lot more... up to about 85-90M. But we just might choose not to. 

 

about where the money went - Jacoby(21), TY(15), Kelly(10), Houston 9, Doyle, Desir, Autry, Moore, Glowinski, Hoyer ... Luck has 6.5M dead cap... 

 

https://overthecap.com/salary-cap/indianapolis-colts/

 

Yep...in that article you posted..the Colts would have been the top team in requisite cash spend by a significant margin. But Luck's retirement "allowed" them to spend $25M in cash to Hoyer and JB...while only recouping a small amount from Luck retiring.

 

Even OTC in that article speculates about the Colts making move with the threshold in mind. I have argued this for a while. I think it was one of the reasons they gave Rigo and Moore their big deals last offseason. 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, csmopar said:

Either way, I do think if there has ever been a season for Ballard to loosen the purse strings, this is likely to be it. 

 

The comment he made yesterday is certainly eyebrow raising. Different tone than previous offseasons.

 

And it looks like the CBA is somewhat close, or at least they have a good idea what the revenue split and framework will be, and there's no reason to expect big changes to the fundamentals of the agreement. So any of the big things that might have given Ballard reason to be especially prudent might not have much bearing this year.

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1 minute ago, shastamasta said:

Even OTC in that article speculates about the Colts making move with the threshold in mind. I have argued this for a while. I think it was one of the reasons they gave Rigo and Moore their big deals last offseason. 

 

 

I agree that they gave some advance extensions with the spending requirement in mind. I think Ballard even mentioned that as a way to get to the threshold without being big spenders in FA.

 

But I don't think it was a significant factor to the Luck or JB contract decisions. IF the reports are true that recouping Luck's bonus would result in the team losing rights to his contract, then that's all the explanation we need there.

 

And I think they wanted to lock JB up for another year, so they bought out his FA just in case he had a great 2019. 

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7 minutes ago, stitches said:

If we cut/trade JB and Hoyer we will save about 12M. (if the Rivers thing is real)

 

I wonder... will Rivers be good with say... 15M? Or will he want a legit franchise QB type of money? 

 

True...any releases/trades of current players will change the calculus a bit for cash spend...and available cap space even more.

 

Releasing Hoyer AND finding a trade partner for JB (and that $7M roster bonus in addition to his $6M base salary)...would give the Colts upwards of $20M in cap space I think (because JB's dead cap hit would only be his remaining signing bonus of $5.5M).

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2 minutes ago, shastamasta said:

 

True...any releases/trades of current players will change the calculus a bit for cash spend...and available cap space even more.

 

Releasing Hoyer AND finding a trade partner for JB (and that $7M roster bonus in addition to his $6M base salary)...would give the Colts upwards of $20M in cap space I think (because JB's dead cap hit would only be his remaining signing bonus of $5.5M).

Hunt probably gets released too. This will save about 4M too... 

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13 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

I agree that they gave some advance extensions with the spending requirement in mind. I think Ballard even mentioned that as a way to get to the threshold without being big spenders in FA.

 

But I don't think it was a significant factor to the Luck or JB contract decisions. IF the reports are true that recouping Luck's bonus would result in the team losing rights to his contract, then that's all the explanation we need there.

 

And I think they wanted to lock JB up for another year, so they bought out his FA just in case he had a great 2019. 

 

I am not sure about Luck and keeping his rights...I think their motivations could have just been altruistic if anything. Other than Megatron...I don't really recall any NFL team trying to get that money back. The aesthetics are poor...and Irsay has shown a propensity to take care of his franchise players. 

 

On the JB decision...I already know we disagree on whether is was a good call...but I do agree that stuffing cash into the 2019 books was not the main driver.

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On 2/25/2020 at 3:05 PM, runthepost said:

Mid tier free agent alert :sarcasm:

The Colts have announced the the signing of free agent WR

Devin Funchess 

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16 minutes ago, stitches said:

Hunt probably gets released too. This will save about 4M too... 

 

Yep...if the Colts can get creative...they can essentially replace and upgrade their QB room with "little" additional cap space...depending on what (TBD) vet QB would cost. Which is why IMO....it's a no brainer for this offseason. 

 

I have long thought Rivers was a good possibility before LAC even moved on...for multiple reasons. And now there has been a ton of smoke. Rivers mentoring someone like Love just seems ideal for the parallel tracks of competing now and in the future. I actually don't think it's going to require $30M or whatever numbers the media keeps throwing out.

 

Another route I like...is getting JAC to give us Foles. He is similar to Rivers in some aspects. I think Foles would make a good stopgap (Reich connection) and mentor (has done it before). Plus...he's not really THAT expensive in this market...and would only be owed money through next season. IF the Colts could get JAC to swap their #9 pick for the Colts #13 pick (approximate value is about a mid-3rd round pick)....that would position the Colts even better to get Love (or another QB).

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3 minutes ago, shastamasta said:

 

Another route I like...is getting JAC to give us Foles. He is similar to Rivers in some aspects. I think Foles would make a good stopgap (Reich connection) and mentor (has done it before). Plus...he's not really that expensive...and would only be owed money through next season. IF the Colts could get JAC to swap their #9 pick for the Colts #13 pick (approximate value is about a mid-3rd round pick)....that would position the Colts even better to get Love (or another QB).

 

Yep, this is a good creative way to move up. If they want another QB that they need to move up to 3 or 5 for, it gives us a much better starting point too. 

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49 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

Stitches already responded, so just to echo, we have plenty more cap space. 

 

I'm only responding to the mistaken idea that the Colts MUST spend money in free agency because of the minimum spend requirement. I've been saying it for a while now, and now it's here, so I'm saying it again. Take care not to talk yourself into the idea that Ballard is going to spend big in free agency out of necessity.

 

IF he spends more money than we're used to seeing this offseason, it won't be because he has to hit the minimum. 

At least publicly speaking,   Ballard has talked himself into a bit of a corner. 
 

On the one hand Ballard says he blames himself for nit doing a better job of building a better, deeper roster that could withstand injuries....

 

Ok...

 

But you can’t count in rookies to step in and deliver the results you have to have when a starter gets hurt.  So that would seem to imply more free agents. 
 

But on the other hand, Ballard insists over and over that you can’t buy a locker room.   And here you are saying don’t expect Ballard to buy more free agents.  
 

If this better, deeper roster that Ballard wants in the short-term can’t be achieved by the draft or free agency, then where are these players coming from?   Something has to give...

 

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1 hour ago, Valpo2004 said:

 

I could see us going for names when it comes to QB (Rivers) or TE (Hooper or Henry).  

 

I'm kind of crossing my fingers for a Rivers/Henry package deal. 

 

I don't think we will bring in Clowney.  Ballard might kick the tires a bit but in the end I think he's over-rated and Ballard will recognize that and will be outbid.  

 

I'd love to see Hooper or Henry come to Indy.  However, with the seasons they had last year and the lack of other FAs on their teams, I wouldn't be shocked if either/both of them got the franchise tag.  I know the franchise tag is kinda rare for TEs, but they're becoming a bigger and bigger part of this league and those guys both had stellar years last year.

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On 2/25/2020 at 12:40 PM, stitches said:
 
Smoke screen or smoke signal? 
 

 

neither... the question was "can your locker room handle a big name free agent"

No GM will say no to that question.

 

he talked up the locker room and it's leaders, and then said yes, like every single other GM would

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19 hours ago, Introspect said:

Some laugh but he was a good enough player for a consistent Super Bowl contender. But not for the Colts?  Guess New England is clueless with no Super Bowl appearances in 10 years... Oops or is it our beloved franchise?  Just find it odd that people think the guy is trash...

Phillip Dorsett with Tom "The Greatest Quarterback of All-time" Brady as his quarterback vs Zach Pascal with Jacoby Brissett as his quarterback. Zack Pascal was undrafted free agent while Phillip Dorset was a first round pick of the Grigson-led Indianapolis Colts.

 

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&player_id1_hint=Phillip+Dorsett&player_id1_select=Phillip+Dorsett&fromyear_1=2019&toyear_1=2019&player_id1=DorsPh00&idx=players&player_id2_hint=Zach+Pascal&player_id2_select=Zach+Pascal&fromyear_2=2019&toyear_2=2019&player_id2=PascZa00&idx=players

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2 hours ago, shastamasta said:

 

I am not sure about Luck and keeping his rights...I think their motivations could have just been altruistic if anything. Other than Megatron...I don't really recall any NFL team trying to get that money back. The aesthetics are poor...and Irsay has shown a propensity to take care of his franchise players. 

 

On the JB decision...I already know we disagree on whether is was a good call...but I do agree that stuffing cash into the 2019 books was not the main driver.

 

Yeah, altruism is more likely than trying to hit the spending floor. I haven't seen anything that confirms -- to my satisfaction -- that recouping the bonus money would affect his contract rights, but that's been going around since September so I don't know... I certainly haven't found it in the CBA.

 

As for JB, I don't think I felt it was a good call. Just that I understood their motivation. I always felt the money was a touch high -- before they did it, I gave a projection of what they might give him in an extension, and they came in about $12m higher than I thought -- but I thought the goal was obvious. It wasn't a commitment to JB as the QB of the future, just a protection for the team in case he wound up being really good. 

 

He didn't. I think the next steps are pretty obvious. Make sure that the QB of the future is on the roster this offseason, whether that's a veteran acquisition or a drafted rookie. Easier said than done, but that's Ballard's job.

 

I'm a Ballard fan, but he must get this right.

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1 hour ago, NewColtsFan said:

At least publicly speaking,   Ballard has talked himself into a bit of a corner. 
 

On the one hand Ballard says he blames himself for nit doing a better job of building a better, deeper roster that could withstand injuries....

 

Ok...

 

But you can’t count in rookies to step in and deliver the results you have to have when a starter gets hurt.  So that would seem to imply more free agents. 
 

But on the other hand, Ballard insists over and over that you can’t buy a locker room.   And here you are saying don’t expect Ballard to buy more free agents.  
 

If this better, deeper roster that Ballard wants in the short-term can’t be achieved by the draft or free agency, then where are these players coming from?   Something has to give...

 

 

I feel like Ballard will always shoulder the blame, just because he "gets it." The reason the Colts had to play unproven journeymen in 2019 is because they got hit with a rash of injuries at specific positions. Lots of injuries at corner and WR, and then we had to go get Inman and play guys like Boddy-Calhoun at corner.

 

And while he's always said you can't buy a locker room, he's now saying he feels like the locker room is "ready" to bring in high profile guys. So he's sort of turning the page, IMO.

 

Also, he could technically bring in a "big name free agent" in 2020 just by signing a veteran QB like Rivers. Wouldn't that qualify? A trade for SB MVP Nick Foles would check that box as well. 

 

As for the roster composition, I think the team is still at least one draft/rookie season away from really having depth, and still has some holes at specific starting positions right now -- DT, maybe CB, TE, etc. If they're taking a build through the draft approach, there are no shortcuts. You only get a great roster with good depth with the passage of time.

 

Last thing, I'm not predicting anything about what Ballard does in the offseason. This is going to be a unique year for the Colts, and anything could happen. My protest has primarily been 'let's not fool ourselves into thinking the Colts MUST spend big in 2020, because it's not true.' Not necessarily saying they won't, or will, just that they don't have to.

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2 hours ago, NewColtsFan said:

At least publicly speaking,   Ballard has talked himself into a bit of a corner. 
 

On the one hand Ballard says he blames himself for nit doing a better job of building a better, deeper roster that could withstand injuries....

 

 

 

What injuries is CB talking about? 

 

Weren't they mostly all in the WRs corps?  I mean, how many WRs can a roster have?  Funchess, Campbell, TY, Ebron until he quit, were all injured and we simply used the backups.  That's not a failure on the GM at all, so I don't know what Ballard is trying to say. 

 

If he meant that he has simply failed to build a good enough roster at this point, that I agree with.

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26 minutes ago, DougDew said:

What injuries is CB talking about? 

 

Weren't they mostly all in the WRs corps?  I mean, how many WRs can a roster have?  Funchess, Campbell, TY, Ebron until he quit, were all injured and we simply used the backups.  That's not a failure on the GM at all, so I don't know what Ballard is trying to say. 

 

If he meant that he has simply failed to build a good enough roster at this point, that I agree with.

I think CB is talking about WR, CB, TE, QB,  and DL.

 

We got hit badly in a number of key areas. 

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36 minutes ago, NewColtsFan said:

I think CB is talking about WR, CB, TE, QB,  and DL.

 

We got hit badly in a number of key areas. 

I think it was GM speak.  That's ok, he's a GM so it goes with the territory.  Outside of WR, I can't think of any unit getting hit with injuries more than normal seasons for an NFL team.

 

I guess having to play Hoyer points to what he's saying.

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5 hours ago, NewColtsFan said:

You may be right, but I certainly hope you’re wrong.   Because if you’re right, there will not be much money left to sign many (any?) free agents.  
 

We've all been expecting a class bigger than the standard two very good players, one on offense, one in defense.  Where did all the money go?  

could ballard be over paying some our players>

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1 hour ago, DougDew said:

What injuries is CB talking about? 

 

Weren't they mostly all in the WRs corps?  I mean, how many WRs can a roster have?  Funchess, Campbell, TY, Ebron until he quit, were all injured and we simply used the backups.  That's not a failure on the GM at all, so I don't know what Ballard is trying to say. 

 

If he meant that he has simply failed to build a good enough roster at this point, that I agree with.

his method of filling the roster has not been as good as our others in the afc south, as our record going south shows

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24 minutes ago, DEFENSE said:

his method of filling the roster has not been as good as our others in the afc south, as our record going south shows

He hasn't hocked the future of the Colts either. 

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1 hour ago, DougDew said:

I think it was GM speak.  That's ok, he's a GM so it goes with the territory.  Outside of WR, I can't think of any unit getting hit with injuries more than normal seasons for an NFL team.

 

I guess having to play Hoyer points to what he's saying.

I don’t understand your position?   The Colts were among the most injured teams in the NFL.   That’s not just GM speak.   Those are facts. 

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36 minutes ago, DEFENSE said:

could ballard be over paying some our players>

No.   It’s hard to think of anyone that we’re overpaying?  


Much of the team are on rookie contracts.   The rest are former free agents so their contracts somewhat reflect the free agent market.
 

Do you have anyone in mind?

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1 hour ago, NewColtsFan said:

I don’t understand your position?   The Colts were among the most injured teams in the NFL.   That’s not just GM speak.   Those are facts. 

I'm not doubting anybody account.  I'm just saying that I don't recall a bunch of injuries to meaningful players this season other than TY, Funchess, Parris, Ebron, and JB for a few games. Our oline was intact every snap.  Our RBs, who are nothing special anyway, were in tact. 

 

Sheard was out for a while.  Hooker missed a few games.  But several starters in several positions missing a few games is pretty normal.  Is that the reason we had a bad record, because the replacements for Sheard and Hooker weren't good enough?

 

Willis was out for a while.  If CB is saying that he didn't have enough depth behind his 4th round rookie, I would say that not having depth wasn't the problem with the roster.  I would say that having nobody better on the roster than a 4th round rookie in the first place was the problem.  

 

Turay was out.  Did we have a poor pass rush because we didn't have another second round  developmental player backing him up.....oh wait, we did. 

 

I guess I just don't see what he "says" he was seeing.

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23 hours ago, BProland85 said:

If Chris Jones actually makes it to free agency I'd be all for Ballard throwing out big money to him. He is one of those young game changers at the DT position, which is a huge need for Indy. 

Would pass on Jones and take a hard look at Steelers Hargrave instead.  Cost less to acquire and Hargrave better in run-support while still adds value as a pass rusher.  Round 1-2 focus on replacing Autry with Madubuike or Gallimore.

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On 2/26/2020 at 4:13 PM, NewColtsFan said:

At least publicly speaking,   Ballard has talked himself into a bit of a corner. 
 

On the one hand Ballard says he blames himself for nit doing a better job of building a better, deeper roster that could withstand injuries....

 

Ok...

 

But you can’t count in rookies to step in and deliver the results you have to have when a starter gets hurt.  So that would seem to imply more free agents. 
 

But on the other hand, Ballard insists over and over that you can’t buy a locker room.   And here you are saying don’t expect Ballard to buy more free agents.  
 

If this better, deeper roster that Ballard wants in the short-term can’t be achieved by the draft or free agency, then where are these players coming from?   Something has to give...

 

 

 

As far as I can tell Ballard gives off the impression that he is willing to be more heavily invested in free agents once our rosters foundation is in place. And he has said in the past couple weeks that the team is ready for that. Actions speak louder than words. My hope is he backs that up with at least one major signing. 

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1 hour ago, NannyMcafee said:

 

 

As far as I can tell Ballard gives off the impression that he is willing to be more heavily invested in free agents once our rosters foundation is in place. And he has said in the past couple weeks that the team is ready for that. Actions speak louder than words. My hope is he backs that up with at least one major signing. 

 

A buddy suggested that the "big name" comment was likely aimed at QB lol. While I'd like to get Rivers, I hope the comment was aimed at DT.

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Encouraging thought.  Maybe we will pick up the 1-2 mid level FA WR we need to balance the roster.

 

Since I think we're going to supplement our QB situation in the draft I'd love to see a trade or FA acquisition of a premium tight end.  Maybe we can scoop up Austin Hooper.  That'd be fantastic.

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My top 3 FA targets are TE Austin Hooper, WR Emmanuel Sanders and WR Nelson Agholor.  Sanders and Agholor are  receivers who can make catches in traffic, which is important, especially if we're going to keep Brissett who lives in the middle of the field (5-15 yard range), doesn't have pinpoint accuracy and needs a bit of help from his WR unit.  I think Funchess was supposed to be that guy last year but he missed all season so that role fell to Zach Pascal too often.

 

Big goal in the offseason would be to push Pascal down the depth chart until he's the #4 guy.  He is a #3-#4 receiver, but putting him at #4 allows him to elevate his game when he's on without killing us when he isn't

 

as for defense I don't make big purchases in FA, quite frankly I love the personnel we have, I think we have a lot of guys doing a great job of growing into their roles.  I regenerate the D from the draft.  \

 

In the first round I move down, pick up a pick in 26-28 range plus a couple seconds, and go for a defensive lineman in round one, and flesh out the LB corps and pick up a promising second round QB with the picks generated from trading down.  

 

The reason I do go to FA for WR/TE is I don't see that group of guys growing into the job in that area.  Closest we've got there is Pascal and he's not #1 material.   Everything else outside of TE and WR we have the ability to develop more or less organically.  We're actually very strong organizationally outside those 2 positions.  And improving in areas you're struggling to develop for is exactly why you FA.

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Of course the locker room can handle a Big FA signing lol. The thing is can Irsay handle writing the Big check. Haha 

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On 3/3/2020 at 2:11 PM, LJpalmbeacher2 said:

Of course the locker room can handle a Big FA signing lol. The thing is can Irsay handle writing the Big check. Haha 

Well if history says anything Irsay doesn't have a problem writing big checks. 

At this point it's more Ballard who controls the pay scale. 

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    • It would explain why Ballard is splurging so much this year. It also means we can re-sign all of our starters including T.Y
    • The Indianapolis Colts are up and could go several ways at 34 here.   The key here is getting an immediate impact starter.    With the 34th pick in the NFL Draft the Indianapolis Colts select Tee Higgins WR Clemson   He adds great size to our unit and will become Rivers favorite target. 
    • Part of the reason he was a healthy scratch late in the season was because he doesn't play special teams.  When our DBs were all healthy, Milligan, Odum, Geathers and Tell all were playing STs and doing very well there.   “(Wilson’s) role early in the season was good, made a big play in Tennessee, played well vs. Kansas City, then we got healthy all the way through at all of the positions,” Ballard says. “We had five safeties we were dressing and four corners, and then a lot of it came down to special teams. Quincy’s not a core player on teams. Then you add (Rolan) Milligan, who plays on teams, you add (Clayton) Geathers, who plays on teams, you have George Odum, who plays on teams, you had Marvell Tell ascend, who plays on special teams.   “If you are not in that top-3 corner spot, that 4th and 5th corner have to be able to play on (special) teams. That 4th or 5th safety has to be able to play on teams. Those guys were more valuable.” ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Ballard also mentioned a few times during last season that he thought Wilson's struggles were more mental than anything else.  Wilson has ideal physical traits to thrive in Ballard's defense.  Ballard also has expressed a reason he likes Wilson is because he has the traits to switch to S if needed.  The previous year, they said when we had Mike Mitchell that he took Quincy under his wing and really got him practicing hard, taught him how to watch film and prepare like a pro, etc... I'm not sure if his departure is directly related to Quincy's decline or if he had other things going on... but Ballard says after the season he had a long talk w/ Quincy and he believes he had some sort of confidence issue.   “Down the stretch, I think (Wilson’s) confidence got him a little bit down the stretch,” Ballard said. “It’s something Quincy and I talked a long time (after the season) ‘This is it, a big year for you.’ “So it’ll be interesting to see how he comes back, and his mindset, but I think it’ll be good.”   https://www.1075thefan.com/kevins-sports-news/colts/chris-ballard-to-quincy-wilson-this-is-a-big-year/   Above quotes are from the above link, which is an article from last month.  Below quotes are from the below link, which was written in May 2019.   “The thing that is so strong about Quincy and I didn’t even understand this coming out, he’s really football smart,” Ballard says of Wilson. “Right now, he’s playing 5 different spots back there. He will go corner, dime, nickel, little bit of safety. He can play a lot of roles for us.   “He’s going to compete to play corner, but on game day, he becomes very valuable, because he can play man-to-man on tight ends. That’s why having all these longer corners help you from a matchup standpoint.”   **His best game last year was by far against KC when he did a very good job at limiting Kelce (4 catches on 10 targets).   https://www.1075thefan.com/blogs/kevins-corner/colts-coverage/slimmed-down-quincy-wilson-offers-colts-desired-versatility     He's a FA  after this year.  Not sure if you're talking about getting a pick in 2021 or trading him in 2021, but it won't be the later.   And TBH, we didn't have a world class secondary last year and Wilson only play 12% of downs.  He didn't play any defensive snaps after Dec. 8.  The final two months he only played 17 total snaps on defense.  I am somewhat doubtful that a team would even consider giving up a draft pick for him at this point (maybe a 7th?).     Quincy is 3 months younger than Ya-Sin.  I get the impression that Ballard still has high hopes for him.  Hopefully he can get his head on straight.      
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