Free agency is a mixed bag, just like many things in life. If you want guarantees, fast forward 15 years into the future and pull a Biff from Back to the Future 2. You know, the one where old Biff gets the sports almanac, goes back in time and gives it to younger Biff, so he can build an empire. That old bag.
Truth be told, though many have criticized the Colts free agency haul as giving crazy money to backups or ‘haven't yet beens’, nobody knows how this will end. That’s the beauty (or the ugly) to the whole free agency process. You overpay for what guys have done in the near past, or for what they project to do in the near future.
The Colts have signed deals with seven new players, most of whom you wouldn’t recognize if you saw them at your local gas station. Then again, with the money these guys were handed, where the hell would any of us really run into them in our ‘real’ lives?
Many fans have taken to social media and expressed their concern or downright disgust with the fact that Ryan Grigson didn’t go hunting for the ‘name’ players. Bear in mind that the Washington Redskins won the title of ‘Offseason Champs’ for several years running in free agency, only to have a team that couldn’t sniff the playoffs in real NFL life.
Bottom line is this; players make it to free agency for a myriad of reasons. It could be that they were overdrafted and never lived up to their rookie hype. It could also be that they exceeded their hype and their rookie deals, and their teams simply didn’t structure their salary cap as such that they could afford to keep their keystone players beyond those rookie deals. Hey, it happens.
The Colts entered the 2013 free agency period flush with salary cap space and possibilities. As day one passed, they racked up five players that were less than household names. Fans clamored for Paul Kruger or Cliff Avril to be the first signings shortly after the free agency bell rang. In fact, Gosder Cherilus was the first Colts signing. Yep…Gosder Cherilus.
Many names followed suit, most of them less than household. The one ‘name’ player the Colts got in the fold was Laron Landry. While he isn’t a dead ringer to Chuck Norris, the connection is implied. By that I mean that Chuck Norris and Laron Landry invented the bolt action rifle, liquor, sexual intercourse, and football…in that order.
Free agency is a question with many solutions. You can throw huge money at a few names, hoping that they can maintain or (in rare cases) exceed their current performance. You can throw insane money at players well past their prime, in hopes of generating excitement among the fan base (Miami sort of comes to mind). Or you can throw seemingly crazy total dollar figures at players that are far from household names. The Colts fit into the latter bracket.
I won’t sing the praises of Ryan Grigson or give anyone the benefit of the doubt based on a short track record. Money means nothing until these players get onto the field with their new teams and prove (or disprove) their worth.
Until then, as Barney Stinson would say, wait for it…