What the Stephon Gilmore deal means for the Colts both on defense and in the front office. Short Thoughts.

So another major hole in our team has been addressed. Our pass defense just gained a huge asset in Stephon Gilmore. And with this acquisition the Indianapolis Colts have bolstered each and every layer of the defense this offseason. A defense that greatly needed several issues addressed at the beginning of this offseason seems to have been given not only an upgrade, but several proven, and significant upgrades. I’m not saying the defense is unstoppable now, but the additions we’ve made this offseason are poised to make quite an impact on the success of the Indianapolis Colts this coming season.

Coming just on the tails of signing Rodney McLeod, the Colts and Stephon Gilmore have agreed on a 2 year, 23 million dollar (14 million guaranteed) contract. This has made the Indianapolis Colts secondary a truly intimidating matchup for even the most productive receiving corps out there. We let go a middling corner in Rock, while I appreciate his time working For The Shoe, I have to say who we went out and got to replace him, is quite the upgrade.

While his last two seasons were hampered by his quad injury and surgery, Stephon Gilmore has a proven track record throughout his 10 year career. He brings the intangibles to the game that the Colts will use to improve on already impressive turnover creation rates. His nose for the ball is elite level, he knows the game and having him gives Kenny Moore a veteran mentor that has been a premier athlete at the position for years. This could potentially go a long way in making the already elite Kenny Moore II even more dangerous. With proven veterans like Gilmore and McLeod coming in, these defensive acquisitions stand to aid Julian Blackmon is sharpening his game, and his raw talent. However these guys come in, I think they stand to send positive ripples throughout the defense. Adding maturity and experience to a raw and talented secondary.

Gilmore on the Ghost

With this addition, the Colts have addressed the secondary. After getting Ngakoue I feel the Colts addressed the lackluster pass rush, hopefully freeing up Deforest Buckner to make more of an impact by having less attention and effort exhorted on him by adding an outside threat. This is going to be an exciting defense to watch this season. I just hope Gilmore has got more in his tank to really become an essential fixture in this defense.

While I had little hope heading into this offseason, I truly believe some great decisions have been made here. Another factor that has presented itself is the idea that the tenure of these contracts can lead one to believe the current Colts regime is giving themselves 2 more years to win before evaluating if a team wide rebuild is necessary. I personally, do not believe blowing it up to ever be the answer, seems like every time a team is blowing it up, they were already one of the last few to blow it up before that. Stability is essential. Those quick to choose failure, get comfortable with that failure.

All of these moves have given me hope for the coming NFL season.

I feel that this coming season has the potential to be something truly spectacular. That’s just this fan boy’s opinion.

The Colts Need to pay some people now and get some help for Matt Ryan.

Throughout this free agency, I keep thinking to myself… Why? Why isn’t Chris Ballard out here looking to chuck some dough around. What is he waiting for!?! Does he not see the writing on the wall? He needs to fix this team QUICK if he wants to be the General Manager for the Colts for much longer. I can’t imagine that Irsay will stand for this much longer considering how outspoken he’s been this last week on his frustrations with some of the moves made by the organization (mostly Carson) and his frustration with consistently losing to the Tenessee Titans. He’s had enough and he knows most of the fan base has had enough as well.

This guy wants to win bad.

So even following the acquisition of a proven veteran in Matt Ryan the Colts are still dominating the cap clearing game. I don’t get why Ballard hasn’t thrown a bag yet. I mean Irsay has been candid this week on what he’s wanting out of his squad, and I would think if I were Ballard I’d be looking to pay somebody, show that you are out here using the cap space that you’ve worked so hard to get. While getting the QB was essential, now we need somebody who can set the tone and the attitude of the receiving room.

We need to get some help. At least one of the remaining wide receivers out there is a must. We need a veteran presence to get in the buildingand help set the tone throughout our wide receiver room. While Michael Pittman is developing well, he is doing just that, developing. We need a receiver who’s been around and has really cut his teeth. We need someone who can come in and be the veteran presence all of our developing receivers can look toward.

For those of us out there thinking that we need to trust the plan here, unfortunately the plan has gotten us to middle of the road play with a carousel at the single most important position in the game. Chris Ballard is an absolute A+ talent evaluator in my book. But man… he needs to be willing to spend some of this cap space if he wants to keep calling the shots in my personal opinion. I don’t know what dream scenario Chris Ballard thinks is just waiting to present itself. But there’s no pride in going into the season as the most underpaid team in the league, so do something and make a splash Chris!

I truly believe Will Fuller has a lot left to play for. I think getting him would be a great boost to our offense. In my own, unprofessional and often delusional opinion, Will Fuller would compliment Michael Pittman Jr.’s game nicely. Will Fuller has got some NASA grade burners when fully healthy. While the last injury to hold him out was a broken thumb, I believe that his speed should not be the issue. Paying Fuller would present Matt Ryan with a dependable option at each level of the field. Jonathon Taylor in the flat, Michael Pittman in the middle, and Will Fuller in the deeper part of the field. I really think if protected by a line committed to the game plan this year, that offense could be something to write home about.

Also I guess there is Jarvis Landry… But I’m thinking his personal evaluation of his own skills may be a tad out of the range that Ballard may be willing to spend. But, I’d figure a man with his job on the line, as I believe Chris Ballard is, he’d be looking for any way to succeed at any cost to the Colts. For better or worse Chris, you can’t spend the money when you’re gone. What are you waiting for?!

Don’t be a cheapskate Chris.

For The Shoe.

JUST GET ME ONE TOP FREE AGENT! Tyrann Mathieu to the Colts seems like it may have legs. Short thoughts.

Just one time. Just one time I want to land a top tier free agent. What’s the point of all this cap space if we aren’t going to use it on a stud or two? Tyrann Mathieu appears to be having odds on him to the Colts. It appears the gambling site oddschecker has moved the Colts into the odds favorite to get Tyrann Mathieu from free agency, following his tenure in Kansas City.

Tyrann Mathieu seems to be the biggest named free agent still available on the defensive side of the ball. With the Colts being seen as favorite a few places, I have to say this must really have some legs. Because when are we EEEVVVEEERRRR the favorite for a projected free agent landing zone? Not too often. I seem to get my hopes up each and every year that we will get the free agents of top caliber, but rarely is this ever the case.

I’ve gotten my hopes up time and time before. And time and time before I’ve been let down. We have yet to make a real splash in free agency in the Ballard era. The largest splash we’ve seen was Carson Wentz and I’ll say the unexpected move of Matt Ryan was solid, with the actual verdict to come following his play on the field. We haven’t had a solid free agent track record from our current regime. So I am cautious to get too invested in potentially wishful thinking.

Although, I believe if the Colts can secure Tyran Mathieu and he can perform up to the level that we’ve seen from him over the course of his career, the Colts defense could have the most intuitive defensive duo in the NFL. Darius Leonard and Tyronn Mathieu are both very, very intuitive players. Their instincts and knowledge for the game seem to put them in positions to make a play more often than not. Not many players possess this gift to any degree, while these two guys may be some of the best examples of this in the NFL.

He would enter that Colts’ locker room and immediately seek to aid Darius in setting a tone of attitude and rock steady defense. His resume speaks for itself and would speak volumes to those within the Colts organization. He is a genuine leader, and after watching the Colts last year, other than Darius, I feel like our leadership was lacking. The Colts Need to go out and get the guys that will help “set the tone” for lack of a better explanation.

While all of this is very promising I can’t help but fear a potential fall off in Tyrann’s game following his next contract signing. I’m sorry I just don’t see him remaining in that top tier of NFL safeties for too much longer. I imagine he may be looking for this next contract to be his last MAJOR payday. If this is the case, I think he may be looking for a longer contract, and get really comfortable wherever he lands next. I don’t know how tied down we’d want to be with a major contract spent on Mathieu when there seem to be more imperative roles that need to be paid and cemented within our franchise. (Fingers crossed we got QB covered for a few more years if Matt Ryan should find a second wind in Indianapolis and want to stick around).

Here’s hoping something can come of this. I will be over the moon if we are able to land him. Because ultimately, this salary cap is going to climb. And there seems to be more and more ways that creative accounting is allowing teams to manipulate that salary cap. So throw it all at him. Get our number 1 recruiter Darius Leonard on the case! I’m ready to see Tyrann Mathieu suit it up For The Shoe.

Matt Ryan to the Colts. A hopelessly optimistic fanboy’s thoughts.

And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.

-Meister Eckhart
Meister Eckhart, Late 13th Century Theologian and probable Colts fan

Alright… So we’ve finally figured out who will be under center for the Indianapolis Colts this season. In doing so we see yet another new beginning for the franchise. Just yesterday Matt Ryan was traded to the Colts for the 82nd pick (3rd round). And I have got to say… I will take it. Now I know nothing about constructing a winning squad in the NFL, but I’m going to run with this straight from the gut and say I love it.

You have to think about the situation that Ballard had gotten the Colts into. Matt Ryan was the best option. An option that didn’t seem available at the beginning of free agency. I mean the Atlanta Falcons really did their franchise star for the last 2 decades dirty in this one. It seemed out of the blue that an Atlanta rebuild was presented, even though it was desperately needed. It still looked like they would ride with Matt Ryan until the wheels fell off.

Matt Ryan has been the face of the Atlanta Falcons for 14 years. While I am grateful that we have addressed our most glaring issue on the roster, can’t help but feel like Matt Ryan got absolutely dissed by the front office here. He restructured his monster contract in order to give the front office the ability to get him other guys with more cap space in good faith, and they did not reciprocate. I believe the fans of Indianapolis will welcome him with open arms and he will forget the franchise that did him dirty pretty shortly after his arrival in The Circle City.

While a 20 to 12 isn’t a great TD to Interception ratio. I truly believe that most of Atlanta’s roster is absolute doodoo stank, except the freak of nature that is Kyle Pitts and a few defensive dogs.  I really believe that we may get to see sparks of Matt Ryan of old when he had a run game to open the playbook a bit. I remember when Matt Ryan had a tandem of Devonte Freeman and Tevin Coleman (Shout out my Hoosiers) where the Falcons offense was dominant. Yes that was with Julio Jones and Matt probably both in the prime of their careers, but then again with guys like Aaron Rodgers and Tommy Titles out there whose to say he can’t have a strong showing in this his 15th season in the NFL.

I really believe that Jonathon Taylor will open up the passing game in a way that Matt has not seen in quite some time. Of course there are still glaring needs in the passing game. But if Michael Pittman Jr. can continue to progress and we are able to find a reliable deep threat either through what’s left of free agency or the draft, we could really see something out of this squad. This year’s wide receiver draft class is pretty stacked so we may be able to pick someone up that could make an immediate impact. Although there is now a glaring hole at Tight End (barring Mo Allie-Cox stepping up to what I believe his potential could be), a deep threat to compliment Michael Pittman’s game would be exceptional in my very unprofessional, very biased opinion.

Another effect that signing Matt Ryan might have is the free agency of Julio Jones. And while even just typing that out makes me feel like I may be going a little senile, it hasn’t stopped Darius Leonard from going to recruit the Hall of Fame bound wide receiver. Darius tweeted out yesterday,
“@juliojones_11 aye man hear me out! Matt have already thrown you a lot of touchdowns in the dome in Atlanta, y’all could finish what y’all started in Atlanta in the dome here in Indy!” And yeah, a tweet may not mean much. But hey, why not kick the tires. If this is a possibility we could really see an entirely new offense in Lucas Oil next season.

I’ll be the first to admit while writing this I am getting flashbacks to when we signed Carson Wentz. This hopeful, and admittedly somewhat unwarranted optimism is an all too familiar feeling that I felt 3 times in the last 3 years. Rivers. Wentz. And now Ryan. But whatever… I bleed Blue. So I’m riding with this team for better or worse.

So all in all, I’m possibly too optimistic about what Matt Ryan had left to offer, but then again I didn’t expect Phillip Rivers to do jack in Indianapolis. And honestly I was wanting him to come back for a second season. I believe Matt Ryan to have an even better chance to make a difference in our season than Phillip did. Which is very promising in my own opinion. So I will be putting all of my chips on Matt Ryan this year. For better or worse I was born a Colts fan, an irrationally loyal one at that. So excited about this season, I’m on board wherever this may lead.

Aaron Rodgers is Still Leaving Green Bay. Here’s Why:

After the 49ers beat the Packers in the playoffs, speculation started stirring as to where Aaron Rodgers would be playing next season. It felt likely that the super bowl winner would be leaving the team that drafted him. As fans everywhere got excited for his announcement, Rodgers played all of us like a fiddle. Rodgers made every fan look at their QB1 and wonder “What if Rodgers was our guy next year?” I for sure wondered this myself. . It made sense that Rodgers was leaving. He was unhappy. The Packers salary cap is going to explode. Jordan Love is next up. Rodgers and Adams are getting cryptic on Instagram. I thought Rodgers could take a team like the Steelers, Broncos, or Colts to the next level. Contrary to all the conjecture, Rodgers turned out to be the bigger man and made amends with Green Bay.

CAP.

Rodgers still has his sights on leaving the Frozen Tundra. I do not believe that Rodgers would go through all this drama over the course of the season, just to resign for an insane contract, a contract worth 200 million dollars for four years. I don’t buy it. Aaron Rodgers is a petty man. This is the same man that has not spoken to his family in five years. This guy can hold a grudge and you can’t blame him for being upset. Green Bay lacked appreciation for the back-to-back MVP. Aaron Rodgers does not forgive and forget, and I believe that he will be leaving Green Bay sooner than expected.  

Here’s Why: 

After his season ended, Aaron Rodgers took some time to reflect about his options. This time was spent doing weird diets, cleanses, and meditation techniques that have made Aaron Rodgers sort of a hippie. You have to be a hippie with that man bun. A hippie that values relationships and friendships more than prior. This is the case because Rodgers was quick to make his announcement before free agency would start. This was with respect to the front office and to his teammates because it would help everyone plan for free agency. His meditation may have changed his moral compass, but Rodgers may have found a loophole in the system that would benefit everyone involved in this situation. 

What’s Gonna Go Down: 

By signing with Green Bay, Rodgers is getting PAID for the next four years. While the Packers have a severely low salary cap available, it feels as if that franchise is eventually going to have to rebuild soon. As the Packers continue to kick the can, it feels like they could know something that no one is considering:

Rodgers is going to be traded this year or next in a package deal with Davante Adams.

 

Rodgers and Adams are one of, if not, the best WR/QB duo in the league and they have developed a strong relationship. Rodgers does not want to give up his number one target and would like to continue to play with Adams after his franchise tag is up. Aaron Rodgers’ newfound respect of respect will help the Packers rebuild. free the Packers’ cap, give them one last playoff run, allow Rodgers to get PAID, and Adams and Rodgers can continue to be buddies on the same team. Since this would benefit the Packers, I imagine that Rodgers would get final say in where he would like to play next season.  

Coming from a Colts fan, I was hopeful to get Rodgers. I may seem in denial about Rodgers staying, but it seems more likely that a trade is near. Aaron Rodgers wants to negotiate his own trade and the packers are letting him do that with Davante Adams. With Jordan Love’s rookie contract ending before Aaron Rodgers’ new one, the Packers front office is going to have to make a decision regarding their cap space. Will they continue to kick the can or start the rebuilding process? 

Chris Ballard says a whole lot of nothing, while actually saying all he needs to regarding Wentz.

Link to Chris Ballard’s press conference from the Senior Bowl

While saying absolutely nothing, Chris Ballard was able to almost perfectly express his own frustration over the Carson Wentz situation. How much must this guy hate having to answer that question with a restrained and controlled, hollow answer day after day?

TY. I love you. Personally, your in my 5 favorite Colts of all time. I say favorite because I know he isn’t the best, but boy has he been a pleasure for a large portion of my life watching sports religiously. But his lack of production as well as the injuries across the board tells us the Indianapolis Colts need an overhaul in the wide receiver room (apart from Pittman Jr.). We have to go get some options to throw the ball deep if we really want a qb who CAN throw the ball deep!

I’m starting to spiral on the fear of this season. Indianapolis has pigeon holed themselves by building a roster that is quite arguable to most well rounded in the league. Absolute Dawgs on both sides of the ball. Can handle their own in a dude off against any squad in the league. But the apparent talent at each position only sheds light on just how poor the situation at Quarterback is. You can’t win in this league without production under center. And while Carson had his moments, the guy seemed to be lacking a sniff of a clutch gene. With more and more coming out detailing how the Quarterback off season may not be a quarter as hectic as everyone had thought it might be I am becoming more and more resigned to having to run it back with Wentz.

And listen, there are ffffaaarrrr too many Colts fans that say “it’s been a year! give him some time.” To them I say, that is the dumbest thing I have heard in a minute! This is years of bad play. He got more than enough time to prove himself in Philly and got ran out of town. Also, newsflash if you don’t understand how the salary cap and drafting goes in the NFL, good teams can’t keep all their guys. The Colts are in their window of opportunity to get a Super Bowl. It feels like we are in a Ferrari driving for greatness, only problem is we are missing the steering wheel to steer the whole thing!

As each day passes I grow more weary on the reality of the Colts QB situation. I also grow more convinced we need to go get Jameis to eat some “W”s in Indianapolis.

I keep convincing myself that our defense will be able to negate his own Turnover rate (which to Winston’s credit is ABSOLUTELY ASTOUNDING) to a certain extent and while also giving us a QB who racks up yards. I mean his stats are pretty hilarious considering how often he’s been at or near the top in total yards in the NFL while also leading the league in turnovers at points. If we have to have a sub par option, may as well be a fun one to watch!

I WANT TO TRUST YOU GUYS, I DO!!! But come on!

Broncos Beat Writer: Teddy Bridgewater to Indianapolis Colts. Guy obviously knows nothing.

“I see Teddy as a perfect fit for Indy,” said Patterson on the Mile High Insiders podcast. “A one-year, two-year deal with Indy and try to see what they want to do there. I think it makes too much sense not to happen”

si.com

What an all time dunce. Classic beat reporters throwing it at the wall. I wouldn’t give this too much thought. I mean “see what we want to do here”, you gotta be kidding me with that mess!! In case the league isn’t on notice yet. THE COLTS ARE IN WIN NOW MODE. We just built the team around an empty hole waiting to be filled by a quarterback that understands the opportunity there is to win with the roster Chris Ballard has built. This type of Quarterback seems to be showing up more and more often in the NFL these days.

We got some DAWGS just waiting for an Alpha QB to lead the pack to the promised land. I’d even be able to look past the cringe factor of Mr. UNLIMITED. PLEASE GOD JUST GET THE COLTS AN ARM FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!!!

While this does seem an all time dumb move to me, I’m not paid the big bucks to make this decision and I’m smart enough to know just how dumb I am, but this just doesn’t jive with me. I will say Pat McAfee backing up this thought is a little disconcerting because I believe Pat is still very familiar with the top brass in Indianapolis. I could see him hearing a lot of noise before it’s made public… here’s hoping Pat doesn’t know anything on the matter

Fan Duel

And here’s hoping our boys get the help they deserve before my whole future is a series of “What If” reflections on the squad we current have. Get these guys a ring now, because we can’t keep this squad forever waiting for the most important piece to present itself.

These Dawgs deserve a dawg leading the offense!!!

Here’s hoping Ballard already has a plan in place, because I am really tired of having to scramble for a QB year after year. Stability is great everyone, but stability is needed at more than general manager and the head coach position. Indianapolis is in their window of success and need to capitalize this off season and free agency if the Colts don’t want to be looking back on this time and thinking, we should have gave it all for a quarterback. Either way, I’ll continue trusting the process of Chris Ballard and the Colts’ front office.

With all the hypotheticals out there currently it can be easy to spin out and go crazy as a Colts fan this off season. Without some major moves by the Colts in free agency and trading draft picks honestly, they will be dead in the water. All those who say run it back with Carson haven’t watched him over the passed 3 years of his career, and haven’t been watching the games at all I guess. That can’t be the solution. Sending only positive vibes to the front office though. Let’s go get some more dawgs this year!

Indianapolis Colts in line to lock down Casey Hayward for next season?

In updating their projected landing spots for their top-50 ranked free agents of the 2022 offseason, Pro Football Focus believes the Colts will sign former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory and former Los Vegas Raiders cornerback Casey Hayward. This feels like cheating, but Hayward and Gus Bradley should be on the same team until Hayward retires. Bradley’s Cover-3 scheme fits Hayward’s skill set perfectly, as it allows him to use his instincts and smarts. The Colts could replace Xavier Rhodes with Hayward on the outside. However, coverage performance from year to year can be streaky. Hayward recorded a 59.5 PFF grade in 2020 and then a 76.6 in 2021, but he could just as easily revert back to a sub-60 grade in 2022.” – Kevin Hickey, USA today.

Just to catch you all up on Casey Hayward… It’s been 4 years since he’s nabbed a spot on the NFL top 100 list. But, this guy’s still got game though… Big Trust.

This signing would be a huge boost in addressing our looming free agent holes. With Pro Bowl cornerback Kenny Moore headlining, Casey Hayward brings skill and MASSIVE experience to the Colts second CB position. I think this signing is a no brainer, unlike the current QB situation.

While Casey Hayward lacks the hands of most corners(who already aren’t receivers largely due to lack of hands), he has experience for days over most of the league. This experience is sooooo massively important for a cornerback. This experience allows a player to know where to be on the field. He’s seen it all, and in turn, knows how to counter it all!

While most sites and media outlets see Indianapolis as the landing spot for Hayward this offseason, this signing will go a small way in locking up a Super Bowl quality team for Indianapolis. The only other problem is addressing the Edge and QB positions. Easily the two most important positions in the game… so while this is a sign of promising acquisitions to come, I need to hear that we can lock up those other two positions if the Colts have any shot in hell this year!

Given the previous relationship between new Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley and Casey Hayward, this will be a great match. While many thought Hayward may have fallen off last year, he stepped up and contributed to a stout Raiders secondary. Here’s to Casey Hayward on the Colts!!!!

As is always the case, I write this FOR THE SHOE!

Aaron Rodgers calls off wedding… because Shailene didn’t want to follow him to Indianapolis?

A source close to Rodgers confirms to PEOPLE that the NFL star, 38, and the actress, 30, have split, just over one year after he made the surprise announcement that they were engaged. “It was an amicable split; it just wasn’t working,” the source says. “They’re very different people with busy careers and there were obstacles that they couldn’t surmount. They will remain friendly; there’s no bad blood and no drama. It just didn’t work out for them.”

People (Karen Mizoguchi, Steve Helling

Oh lawd… the drama. Aaron Rodgers and Woodley have called off their engagement. Looks like true love doesn’t exist after all kids. With so many questions about his future, Aaron had figured that he had at least found the woman he’d be with in that future.

Sadly he did not I guess.

So what happened? Well I feel like the engagement call off is always promted by a big fight then the inevitable “What are we even doing here?” Aaron has a lot of decisions to make coming up so, with his future up in the air, I like to think that maybe it was a shift in where he’d like to play come September. Maybe he had laid out a plan where half their football season would be spent in sunny San Fransisco, close to most of her work in Los Angeles. But could a change in destination have led to a fight that couldn’t be mended. What would piss off Shailene so much? Possibly a move to Indianapolis when San Francisco is where she had been told the whole time, could lead to a dissolving of the relationship. So I will say it here first…

Aaron Rodgers will be an Indianapolis Colt.

Now this is all a scenario that may, or may not have taken place. I can’t imagine that Shailene would be too excited about a move to Indy right after she had put her time in in Green Bay. Anyone not from Indiana, doesn’t know what we have here. Personally, I’d like to keep it this way. But, Indianapolis HHAASSS to be the most attractive roster for Aaron, I mean come on. The Indianapolis Colts are loaded compared to the rest of the league, they just lacked a solid option at the single most important position, quarterback.

I don’t see any reason, that if Aaron Rodgers is committed to trying to cement his legacy as not only one of the best but one of the all-time greatest quarterbacks to ever lace them up in the NFL. The difference between best and greatest, SUPER BOWLS! No single team is a quarterback away from a dynasty more so than Indianapolis. So I think this breakup may be a great sign of things to come in Indianapolis!

I mean come on, Imagine this backfield behind the Colts offensive line (should they be able to stay healthy). Jonathon Taylor and Aaron Rodgers are so much better for each other than Aaron and Shailene were. So all in all Aaron, don’t cry because it’s over, smile because your on your way to Indianapolis

-Burke

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