Carlos Hyde is set to hit the open free agency market after an impressive season with the San Francisco 49ers. It is expected that the 49ers would like to re-sign him, but that will not be an easy task with how many teams will be looking to improve their running back situation.
Quite a few teams will be lining up with offers for Hyde when free agency opens up. That being said, Chris Ballard needs to make sure that the Indianapolis Colts are one of them.
Frank Gore is headed for free agency himself. At 34 years of age, Gore simply isn’t the right fit for the young Colts moving forward. Bringing in a 26-year-old Hyde who has proven himself to be a workhorse would be the perfect move to make to round out the Colts’ offense.
Andrew Luck is healing well in his recovery from a throwing arm injury and looks to be on track to be at 100 percent next season. If he is able to come back at full strength, adding a threat like Hyde on the ground would take a lot of pressure off of him.
Last season with the 49ers, Hyde ended up carrying the football 240 times for 940 yards and eight touchdowns. He also took his receiving game to a new level with 59 receptions for 350 yards. Those numbers would continue Gore’s solid production and give the Colts a long-term option alongside Luck.
Spotrac.com currently has Hyde’s market value at $6.2 million per season. If that is all the Colts have to pay, they need to jump all over a three or four-year contract with him.
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Needless to say, it won’t be easy for the Colts to emerge as the top team to sign him. They may not be willing to overpay for Hyde, which is something that a few other teams around the league may do. Ballard is likely confident with Marlon Mack and taking a rookie running back in the 2018 NFL Draft.
There is a chance that the Colts could use the No. 3 overall pick on Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. If they do end up doing that, there is no chance that they will sign Hyde.
It will be interesting to see what route the Colts choose to go this offseason. They have fired head coach Chuck Pagano and are currently expected to hire New England Patriots’ offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to be their new head coach. That move in and of itself will take the Colts a step in the right direction.
Indianapolis may not end up being aggressive in free agency this offseason. Ballard did make quite a few roster moves last offseason, but making a big splash may not be in the cards this time around. While that certainly is a possibility, signing Hyde simply seems like a perfect match for both parties.
Expect to hear plenty of rumors surround the Colts this offseason. They still have quite a few holes to fill and Hyde would give them a consistent workhorse running back. It would also free Ballard up from having to take a running back in one of the first two rounds of the draft.
Hyde may not end up being a serious free agency target for the Colts, but he certainly would be a huge addition to the offense.