Feb 13, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; (From left to right) Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay and coach Frank Reich and general manager Chris Ballard pose for a group photo after a press conference at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 13, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; (From left to right) Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay and coach Frank Reich and general manager Chris Ballard pose for a group photo after a press conference at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the second and final installment of the FPC Colts report card for general manager Chris Ballard. Last time we delved into the early returns from the NFL draft, which has earned stellar marks, but what about all the other moves? Ballard is fairly active in trades, the UDFA market, and the waiver wire, but has been reserved in the free agency market, following his build from within mantra. Here we will complete part two of our Chris Ballard report card series with the non-draft moves. Some notes on this, and UDFA or waiver claim would have to do a lot to be a loss and less to be a win as they are low-risk moves. Free agents and trades are viewed more harshly, as their performance, and cost plays into their grade.

FA/UDFA/Trade Wins Losses
Kenny Moore Kamar Aiken
Jabaal Sheard Barkevious Mingo
Eric Ebron Sean Spencer
Zach Pascal John Bostic
Al Woods Jeff Locke
Margus Hunt Johnathan Hankins
Rigo Sanchez John Simon
Jacoby Brissett Ryan Grant
Denico Autry
Pierre Desir
Mark Glowinski
Dontrelle Inman
Nov 25, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts tight end Eric Ebron (85) is introduced before the game against the Miami Dolphins at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

I’ll start with the losses, Spencer and Jeff Locke couldn’t make the opening day roster, making them easy losses. John Bostic and Kair Aiken were year-long contributors whose on-field performance were far less than desired. Mingo and Hankins were year-long contributors that did not do enough to be back with the team by 2018. This one was trickier as Mingo was a free agent who may have been overpaid in free agency, so could be a neutral move. Hankins was a very productive member of the 2017 defense but was cut this March due to scheme fit and price, but not being able to finish his large contract, I had to mark him as a loss. Ryan Grant was a close one, but I don’t think he impacted enough to gain a win even when he was healthy, and will likely not return in 2019.

As for the wins, most of them are easy to guess why, but there are some I assume I will get some pushback from in the comments. Dontrelle Inman being the first off, was the team’s defacto WR two off the scrap heap before the Buffalo game, his solid production as a sure-handed and elite blocking receiver should be marked as a win so far. Desir was the teams second best corner and should be looking at a sizeable upgrade in 2019, with the Colts or elsewhere. Glowinski was a pro bowl caliber player on the best offensive line in football, and just earned a brand new three-year contract for his work at right guard… do I need to say more? Oh yea, he was a league minimum guy as he was cut from the Seahawks.

While Ballard doesn’t have many misses in the open market, he could deserve some criticism for not spending, leaving nearly $60million on the table in this free agency this year. However, Ballard is preaching a building a foundation from within before adding other players. The word foundation is key here, as he mentioned in an interview with then Barstools and former Colts punter Pat McAfee, it seems like Ballard may be building up the locker room of homegrown players to build a group that can withstand some outside personalities from free agency. In 2019, the Colts will have over an NFL leading $120million in cap space, and if Ballard decides to sit out again, he will face much harsher criticism than he is today, but hey what do we know? This team won a road playoff game after starting 1-5.

Article by: Maxx Hotton

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