The smoke has cleared. Teams have signed the most lucrative free agents. Hall of Fame quarterbacks are putting on new jerseys. Free agency, though, is still ongoing. Nearly one week into the league year–and one month away from the draft–remaining team needs are coming into clear view. The Indianapolis Colts have upgraded their pass rush and quarterback, but there are still holes to fill. Which free agent targets would make the most sense in Colts blue? Here are three to watch.
Wide Receiver Devin Funchess
We start with a familiar face in Funchess, who will turn 26 in May. He signed a one-year deal last offseason and caught three passes in his debut. Unfortunately, a broken collarbone ended his season in Week One. At 6’4″ 225, Funchess’ size is his most appealing trait. Remember that Philip Rivers has thrown to 6’4″ Mike Williams, 6’2″ Keenan Allen, and 6’5″ Hunter Henry for the last few years. The Colts’ offense lacks a reliable red zone target, and bringing Funchess back on a cheap, incentive-laden deal would help offset the departure of Eric Ebron. Ebron is a tight end, of course, but a big body for intermediate routes and jump balls is a role in which Funchess can contribute.
Wide Receiver Breshad Perriman
Sensing a theme? Perriman is a former Baltimore Ravens first-round pick who is seeking his fourth team in five years. He should be another cost-effective option on the perimeter, and he does move the chains. Perriman has caught only 52 passes the last two seasons (in Cleveland and Tampa Bay), yet 42 of them have converted first downs, along with eight touchdowns. The Colts are expecting T.Y. Hilton to be the go-to guy, Parris Campbell to serve as the speedster, Jack Doyle to catch everything over the middle, and Nyheim Hines to work out of the backfield. Perriman, Funchess, Zach Pascal, and Daurice Fountain would give Rivers a bevy of tall receivers to then “go up and get it.”
Defensive Back Damarious Randall
Randall, like Perriman, was a first-round pick in 2015. The Green Bay Packers started him at cornerback for most of his first three seasons before trading him to Cleveland in 2018. Randall transitioned to safety with the Browns, which will likely be his position moving forward. He is something of a jack of all trades/master of none, as his 14 career interceptions, 47 pass deflections, and 2.5 sacks would indicate. In Indianapolis, Randall could back up Malik Hooker at free safety while also rotating in slot coverage with Kenny Moore and Quincy Wilson. If the price is right, Randall would be a nice addition to defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus’ utility belt.
Chris Ballard is never done tinkering with his roster, and big-time deals are rarely his style. Besides, DeForest Buckner and Philip Rivers add enough sizzle to this offseason that a few under-the-radar moves can be icing on the cake. While Funchess, Perriman, and Randall are not franchise cornerstone players, they all serve a necessary role in what Ballard and Frank Reich want to accomplish on the field.
Much like Julius Caesar must “Beware the Ides of March,” fans need to beware the allure of free agency. Many a team has won in March only to fall flat in September. Free agency should serve as a supplement to the draft, as Ballard says often. These three free agent targets are still unsigned for a reason, but they could all help the Colts win games this season.