I am a Colts fan (check the username for proof), so, of course, I exhibit some form of bias towards my team. However, I back up my opinion with facts that will have links with them. This is why I think they should make a run at Mychal Kendricks, who was recently released by the Eagles. I am not saying that we are going to sign him, but we should be one of the favorites, if not the favorite. Here is my reasoning:
Right now the Colts linebacker core consists of 2 returning starters (Antonio Morrison and Anthony Walker Jr.). Morrison should not be starting at all as he looks slow and lost for most of the game as demonstrated by his 35.8 Pro Football Focus grade. On the other hand, Walker was a respectable starter for the majority of games. He had slip-ups of course, but that's expected. Hopefully, he continues to grow and earns one spot next year (either SAM or MIKE). Additionally, they have 3 drafted rookies (Darius Leonard, Zaire Franklin, and Matthew Adams). Two of which were seventh rounders, so are in no way locks to make the team. Darius Leonard was a second round pick for his above average coverage skills in college. This should place him at WILL day one. The rest of the players are career backups or undrafted free agents. Thus, there is a glaring hole at middle linebacker on the roster for him to fill.
Mychal Kendricks was paid around 6 million dollars last year, per Spotrac. This tells me that he wanted to get paid last year, when he signed that contract, so I assume he stills wants money now. If this thing turns into a matter of amount of money a team can throw at him, the Colts may just win that by a mile. The team has second most cap left right now at $52 million. The only thing that tells me that they may pass is that if they sign him, the rollover cap to next year will shrink, when the team may be more competitive. However, as long as Luck suits up the Colts will be more competitive this next year than you think.
Frank Reich Connection:
I get it, this is not a huge reason, but it should be noted. Frank Reich was the offensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles for the last 2 years, and this just happens to be the team Kendricks is leaving. They are different sides of the ball, but in the locker room Kendricks is going to know him and talk to him at least a little. The overall consensus is that Frank Reich is a good guy that treats people with respect, so I'm willing to go out on a limb and say their interactions were positive. The Indy Star article below contains really high remarks of him from Najee Goode, who now is on the Colts as well.
Chris Ballard is a very particular general manager. He has a certain "type" when he signs free agents evident in his signings over the last 2 years. He likes young, athletic talent. Let's just take this year for example, Eric Ebron: 25, Denico Autry 27, and Ryan Grant 27. He doesn't venture much outside of this range, at all. The only one I can think of was Al Woods, but the only reason he did that is for the bargain price tag on him last year. It just so happens that Mychal Kendricks is 27 just like many of the other signings. He fits exactly what this team has looked for all of the Ballard era.
Chris Ballard came out and talked about why he took each prospect in the draft (all in the Indy Star). He said the word 'speed' five times in about a minute when talking about Darius Leonard. He even went as far as to say that was one of the main things they were looking for in a linebacker. Well, You know who else is fast? Mychal Kendricks. A few years ago, he ran a 4.47 40 yard dash at the combine. This was the fastest dash at the position for that year. His quickness also shows up on tape. Overall, He fits the mold of what the Colts are looking for.
Thank you and Go Colts!