As many NFL fans know, HBO and NFL Films produce a television series called Hard Knocks that documents the featured team’s training camp activities, as described by IMDb. The league uses a specific criteria to decide which teams are eligible to “star” in the program from year to year, and going into this summer’s training camp, the Indianapolis Colts are one of a handful of teams up for consideration (per the Indianapolis Star). A franchise can also volunteer to be on the show, but none of the eight eligible clubs have done so thus far. Would you like to see the Colts featured on Hard Knocks this season?
According to Fansided, there is speculation that the Colts could be interested in trading for Philadelphia Eagles defensive end/outside linebacker Connor Barwin. Barwin is coming off a season in which he tallied only five sacks, but he was miscast as a defensive end in Philadelphia’s 4-3 defensive scheme. The prior two years playing outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, Barwin was very productive as a pass rusher, totaling 21.5 sacks during that period.
There is some thought that the Eagles might cut Connor Barwin in a salary cap move, but before they do that, they are seeing if there are any potential trades out there for the 30-year-old defender. Barwin would certainly fill a huge need for Indianapolis, but one must wonder what the cost would be if the team traded for him. Barwin’s contract runs for two more years and has $18.6 million remaining (as reported by Spotrac), so his hit on the Colts’ salary cap would be tough to swallow — let alone what Indianapolis might have to give up in a trade with the Eagles.
General manager Chris Ballard will have to weigh all the pros and cons, but if he is interested in Connor Barwin, the best approach may be to see if Philadelphia waives him before making any sort of deal. It would be a gamble to wait the situation out, but Barwin is probably too expensive (and not young enough) to trade for under these conditions. If the Colts can acquire Barwin as a free agent and sign him to a reduced contract, he would likely be worth taking a chance on at that point.
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Another decision facing the Indianapolis Colts is what to do about their own upcoming free agents. SB Nation shares that backup running back Robert Turbin is one free agent the team must make a decision on soon. Turbin served as the primary backup for starter Frank Gore, but at age 33, Gore may not be a factor in the team’s plans much longer. Conventional wisdom suggests that the Colts will look to bring in a young running back to eventually replace Gore, but in the meantime, Turbin generally played well last season spelling Gore from time to time, as well as filling the role of Indianapolis’ short-yardage specialist.
Robert Turbin was particularly efficient in 2016 when it came to gaining first downs and scoring touchdowns. Most observers feel that Turbin would not cost much to re-sign, and he has already expressed an interest in returning to the Colts. Re-signing Turbin is virtually a no-brainer, as long as his deal is a modest one. He has proven to be a good short-yardage runner, and has shown enough ability that he might even have an outside shot at the starting job in time.
It has become common knowledge that former general manager Ryan Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano did not get along, but Colts.com has revealed that things are going very well so far between Pagano and new GM Chris Ballard. Ballard and Pagano have already had a chance to spend time together sharing their philosophies with one another and preparing for free agency and the NFL Draft. Team owner Jim Irsay states that the pair are “clicking on all cylinders,” so at least in the short-term, the general manager and his head coach appear to be seeing eye-to-eye — and that is a welcomed change for the Indianapolis Colts.
[Featured Image by Mark Tenally/AP Images]