A boon for the Colts will be the return of all their injured players from 2010. But they also might go out and make a splash in free agency this year, which is unlike them.
But first and foremost, Indianapolis absolutely must get Peyton Manning locked up to a long-term deal, even though his franchise tag most likely will hold up with the new collective bargaining agreement. But the Colts do not currently have a lot of room under the cap, so some tough decisions will have to be made.
With Melvin Bullitt and Joseph Addai as free agents-to-be, I see safety and running back as Indianapolis’ biggest needs. But the Colts also need to address defensive tackle, where Daniel Muir and Antonio Johnson are both free agents and neither player is very effective.
Addai: Addai is probably more valuable to the Colts than to any other franchise in the league. Addai has Manning’s trust, he fits and understands this complex offensive system and he excels in pass protection. But durability is an issue with Addai, and at this point of his career, he probably has no more upside.
Reggie Bush: To me, this would actually be a better option than Addai. Having a backfield of Bush, Delone Carter and Donald Brown would give Indianapolis three extremely different types of running backs. And few teams would be as adept at using these varying skills as the Colts. Bush could be pure electricity in this offense. And Manning would masterfully utilize Bush’s ability to confound defensive personnel. Bush isn’t technically a free agent, but he most likely will become available on the open market.
Brandon Mebane: Adding an impact defensive tackle like Mebane would be much more of a free-agent splash than we are accustomed to with Indianapolis. But Mebane is a fine all-around player. And adding him would make defensive tackle a strength of this team rather than the liability that it so often is. Mebane might be out of the Colts’ price range, but he is exactly what they need at the position right now.
Clint Session: The Colts rarely invest in keeping their own linebackers, but Session is a perfect fit for their scheme. He is fast, explosive and plays the game with vigor and passion. Keeping him as their weakside linebacker would be a smart move.
Bullitt: As you can tell, I am in favor of Indianapolis keeping its own for the most part. Bullitt is very effective in his role. If Bullitt goes elsewhere, some other safeties the Colts should consider who wouldn’t break the bank are Donte Whitner, Brodney Pool and Dashon Goldson. Whitner is most likely the highest-priced player of this group.
Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com. Follow Matt Williamson on Twitter @WilliamsonNFL.