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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Kevin Hickey

14 free agents the Colts should watch during wild-card playoffs

The Indianapolis Colts will be watching the playoffs unfold from their couch this offseason, and it begins Saturday with the start of the wild-card games.

While the Colts won’t be leading the NFL in salary-cap space like we’ve been used to seeing, they should be a bit more active than they have been in the past.

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We shouldn’t expect general manager Chris Ballard to completely change his ways regarding free agency, but it’s reasonable to believe he may be a bit more aggressive when it comes to adding depth, especially to the offensive line.

We’re taking the list of unrestricted free agents, according to Spotrac, for the teams playing in the wild-card games. So there won’t be any Kansas City Chiefs or Philadelphia Eagles players on this list. We’ll save that for next week.

As wild-card weekend gets underway, here are 14 pending free agents the Colts should keep an eye on:

DT Poona Ford, Seattle Seahawks

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Ford is likely to be outside of the Colts’ price range, but he’s one of the top run-stopping defensive tackles set to hit the market this offseason. If the Colts wanted an unstoppable interior from the one-technique to work with Grover Stewart, Ford would make a fantastic match. Like we said, though, he’ll likely be out of the price range for the role he’d play in Indy.

DL Charles Omenihu, San Francisco 49ers

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Omenihu generated interest from the Colts during the pre-draft process in 2019. The Texas product has the size and length Ballard likes to see in his defensive linemen, and he has the versatility to work both on the edge and the interior. He would be an intriguing asset behind Kwity Paye and Dayo Odeyingbo.

CB Emmanuel Moseley, San Francisco 49ers

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Moseley won’t be playing during the playoffs because he suffered a torn ACL during the regular season. Before that, though, he was having a strong campaign. The Colts need to add depth to their cornerback room, especially with Kenny Moore’s future in flux.

OT Daniel Brunskill, San Francisco 49ers

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Adding depth to the offensive line is critical for the Colts. Brunskill has the versatility to work at right tackle, right guard and left guard, something he did throughout the 2022 season with the 49ers. He’s not super athletic, but he’s an intriguing depth addition while also providing some competition at right guard.

OT Trey Pipkins, Los Angeles Chargers

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Pipkins is another swing tackle option for the Colts even if it may not be all that exciting. He took on a starting role for the Chargers this season because of injuries at right tackle, and he’s done a fine job filling in. He could provide some depth at either tackle spot.

OT Jawaan Taylor, Jacksonville Jaguars

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Taylor is probably going to be well outside the price range for the Colts, but he’s also probably going to be one of the top offensive linemen to hit the market. If the Colts wanted to move Braden Smith to right guard, they could sign Taylor as the right tackle. It’s unlikely, and we shouldn’t expect it to happen, but Taylor is an option to consider.

DE Dawuane Smoot, Jacksonville Jaguars

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Smoot would be a depth addition for a defensive line that could lose edge rushers Ben Banogu and Yannick Ngakoue this offseason. He doesn’t offer a crazy skill set, but he has at least 5.0 sacks in each of his last four seasons and at least 12 quarterback hits in each of his last three.

G Rodger Saffold, Buffalo Bills

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There’s a good chance Saffold remains with the Bills, but the Colts might consider him if he does hit the market. He’s getting up there in age (34), but the Colts don’t currently have a starting right guard. Saffold could be a solid bridge/competition asset if the price is right.

G Nick Gates, New York Giants

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Gates wouldn’t be a signing that would blow the doors off the competition. However, he’s a hard-nosed, versatile player who would bring the mean streak back into the Colts offensive line room. He could start at right guard and provide depth at center while being respected in the locker room.

S Julian Love, New York Giants

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The Giants aren’t letting Love go. He’s one of their brightest captains and one of their biggest playmakers on defense. However, he would be a great addition to a Colts defense that thrives on versatility, and he has the type of character the Colts covet.

WR Darius Slayton, New York Giants

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Slayton could be an interesting target as a WR4 type if the Colts don’t retain Ashton Dulin. He doesn’t provide the same appeal on special teams, which will be a red flag for the Colts, but he’s a great asset to have for an offense that needs more down-field threats in the passing game.

CB Tre Flowers, Cincinnati Bengals

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Flowers would be another depth addition to the cornerback room and could fill the Brandon Facyson role as a rotational piece. He has the size and length that Chris Ballard likes to see in his boundary cornerbacks, and Flowers has flashed some potential as a rotational player.

G Max Scharping, Cincinnati Bengals

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Scharping would be brought into compete for the starting right guard spot while providing depth on the interior if he’s beaten out by someone else. It wouldn’t be an exciting signing, but Scharping has the experience and versatility necessary for offensive line depth.

OL Josh Wells, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Wells would be an intriguing swing tackle for the Colts to consider. He’s never held a starting role throughout his career but has stepped in as a spot starter at times. He can work at both left and right tackle, which he’s done this season and would be a stronger option to provide depth and competition along the offensive line.

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