Indianapolis Colts Free Agency Predictions 2024: Colts Keep Michael Pittman Jr., Sign Kendall Fuller, and Boost Pass Rush

While the Colts are rarely active on the open market, it's time for Indy to get aggressive. CB Kendall Fuller joins the squad in our Colts free agency predictions.

The Indianapolis Colts were a few plays away from winning the AFC South and making the playoffs in 2023 despite losing first-round rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson to a season-ending injury in Week 5. With Richardson on track to return in 2024, is it time for the Colts to get aggressive in free agency?

The NFL‘s open market will open in fewer than two weeks. Let’s consider what moves Indy could make when the new league year begins on March 13.

Indianapolis Colts Free Agency Predictions

The Colts have rarely entered the free agent market during general manager Chris Ballard’s tenure, although that may say more about his franchise’s spending capacity than Ballard’s preferred player acquisition strategy.

Here’s where Indianapolis has ranked in free agent spending since Ballard took over, per Spotrac:

  • 2023: 23rd ($83.8 million)
  • 2022: 26th ($43.1 million)
  • 2021: 25th ($38.9 million)
  • 2020: 24th ($36.5 million)
  • 2019: 26th ($43.2 million)
  • 2018: 22nd ($49.9 million)
  • 2017: 12th ($93.9 million)

Richardson is on an affordable rookie quarterback contract for the foreseeable future, while the Colts have more than $70 million in cap space. If Indianapolis wants to beat out the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars and claim the AFC South crown in 2024, Ballard and Co. need to add talent this offseason.

Work Out an Extension with Michael Pittman Jr.

Speaking at the NFL Combine this week, Ballard suggested that wideout Michael Pittman Jr. will remain with the Colts — one way or another — in 2024. Indianapolis could use a $21.816 million franchise tag to retain its WR1, but Pittman has earned a long-term contract, which would enable the Colts to keep his 2024 cap figure relatively low.

“It’s a tool we have,” Ballard said Wednesday. “I’m not going to say we’re not going to use it, but I’m not going to say we are. Hopefully, we can come to an agreement and find some compromise on a deal.”

MORE: 2024 NFL Franchise Tag Candidates

Pittman finished his fourth NFL season with over 3,500 career receiving yards and 15 career touchdowns. Since 2018, only six WRs have hit those thresholds through four years: Justin Jefferson, Diontae Johnson, CeeDee Lamb, DK Metcalf, Terry McLaurin, and A.J. Brown.

Jefferson and Lamb are still awaiting new contracts, but the other four have received new deals. Brown is the highest-paid at $25 million per season, while Johnson brings up the rear at $18.36 million annually.

Pittman should slot in somewhere in that range, with a three-year, $69 million deal potentially making sense for both sides. Re-signing Pittman shouldn’t prevent the Colts from dipping into a deep wide receiver class in the 2024 NFL Draft, but he will give the club’s WR room a solid foundation.

Upgrade at CB by Adding Kendall Fuller

The Colts ranked in the middle of the pack in most pass-defense metrics last season despite fielding a relatively anonymous group of cornerbacks.

Veteran Kenny Moore was his usual productive self in the slot, but Indianapolis relied on youth nearly everywhere else. Rookie seventh-round pick Jaylon Jones led Colts CBs with 788 snaps. Darrell Baker Jr. and Dallis Flowers, both 2022 undrafted free agents, saw more than 300 snaps each.

Second-round rookie JuJu Brents flashed when available, but health was a constant problem for the Kansas State product. Brents missed time with hamstring and quad injuries and ultimately played 497 total snaps in his pro debut.

Let’s give Indy veteran CB Kendall Fuller, who might be looking for greener pastures after playing in the Washington Commanders’ NFL-worst defense last season. No defense played more Cover 3 than Gus Bradley’s Colts last season, while Fuller’s passer rating allowed was nearly 50 points better in zone coverage versus man.

Fuller has played primarily on the perimeter in recent years, but he began his career as a slot corner. He could give Indianapolis depth at multiple spots, covering the club’s bases in case Moore — a pending free agent — doesn’t re-sign.

Consider Signing Multiple Pass Rushers

The Colts only pressured opposing quarterbacks on 32.4% of dropbacks, the seventh-worst rate in the NFL, according to TruMedia. Indy also blitzed on a league-low 15.7% of passing plays.

Bradley’s defense fails to get after QBs and rarely sends extra rushers — sounds like a unit that could use more talent on the edge.

While Samson Ebukam ranked a respectable 29th in pass-rush win rate, former first-round pick Kwity Paye finished just 69th, per PFF. Tyquan Lewis posted the best PRWR among Colts with at least 200 pass-rushing snaps, but he’s a pending free agent.

This year’s free agent pass-rushing crop won’t feature high-end talent after Josh Allen and Brian Burns are tagged, but Indianapolis could try to pick off a few veterans on one-year deals.

Josh Uche, who posted above-averaged pressure rates with the New England Patriots but was consistently injured, could intrigue the Colts as a designated pass rusher.

Former second-round picks Yetur Gross-Matos (Carolina Panthers) and A.J. Epenesa (Buffalo Bills) finally flashed in their fourth NFL campaigns and might be affordable.

KEEP READING: Colts 2024 Free Agents

If Indy is willing to spend more, it could attract a mercenary like Jadeveon Clowney, Za’Darius Smith, or Leonard Floyd, who will be looking for $7 million to $10 million on their next deal.

Miss football? The 2024 NFL Draft is almost here, boss. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!

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