INDIANAPOLIS – It’s taken a few years, but Chris Ballard has publicly commented on the need to address the pass catching options in a serious manner.
On the need list for the Colts in 2022 is to bolster a wide receiver group they hold in higher regard than most. The tight end position is another need the GM has mentioned.
To this extent, Ballard has never gone as far as he did when it comes to the wide receiver/tight end positions.
Ballard’s comments about addressing wideout this offseason came when he asked about the position as a whole.
While it sounds like Ballard will let the final year of Parris Campbell’s rookie contract play out, that doesn’t mean the Colts are automatically penciling the oft-injured wideout near the top of the depth chart.
“I don’t want to forget about Parris Campbell either,” the GM said last week. “Does it mean we are going to sit here and count on him to be our No. 2 or 3 right away?
“No. We will add competition to the position…”
Ballard is a fan of what the wideout group looks like in free agency this year. It should be noted that many of the higher-level FA wideouts have some injury questions: Chris Godwin (Bucs), JuJu Smith-Schuster (Steelers), Odell Beckham, Jr. (Rams), DJ Chark (Jaguars), Michael Gallup (Cowboys).
At tight end, free agent names include Zach Ertz (Eagles), Rob Gronkowski (Bucs), C.J. Uzomah (Bengals), Dalton Schultz (Cowboys), Mike Gesicki (Dolphins), Tyler Conklin (Vikings), David Njoku (Browns).
If the Colts want to—and it sounds like they are very open to it—they have the resources to address one of these two positions in a substantial manner when free agency begins next week.
The GM has stressed several times this offseason about the passing game focus that the league has turned into, and the need for the Colts to find more explosive plays through the air.
Take any of the final teams standing in this postseason and you will see multiple pass catchers that are clear upgrades to what the Colts currently have.
In-house decisions are coming on free agents T.Y. Hilton, Zach Pascal and Mo Alie-Cox.
Outside of that though, the Colts finally have a plan to find some new pass caching faces, for whoever is under center.