Indianapolis Colts: 4 Defensive free agents that should be targeted

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 27: Eric Berry #29 of the Kansas City Chiefs enters the field at Arrowhead Stadium during pre game against the Cleveland Browns on December 27, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 27: Eric Berry #29 of the Kansas City Chiefs enters the field at Arrowhead Stadium during pre game against the Cleveland Browns on December 27, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

The Indianapolis Colts are yet to spend much of their salary cap in free agency. Here are four remaining  defensive free agents they should consider signing before free agency is over to bolster their defense.

They Indianapolis Colts went into free agency with more cap space than any other team, but despite this they are yet to make any big signings. They signed wide receiver Devin Funchess to a one-year deal and re-signed cornerback Pierre Desir to a three-year deal. But other than that have been very quiet with their money.

The Colts front office has made it clear they are going to be very selective with who they bring onto the team, and not just wanting to spend money just because they have it. However, the Colts needs on defense are still well known and there are multiple defensive players who fit the personalities and positions that the Colts are looking for.

Making a few more moves in free agency would offer more flexibility for the Colts in the upcoming draft. They should take advantage of their situation and make a couple moves before the draft. Here are four defensive players the Colts should consider signing on before the NFL Draft.

Tim Jernigan. 4.. 54. Defensive Tackle. player. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis.

One of the Colts biggest needs of the offseason is on the defensive line, especially in the middle of the line. Almost every mock has the Colts selecting some type of interior defensive lineman in the first round, if not the second round. While Tim Jernigan may not be to the caliber of some of the drafts top defensive lineman, he could fit very well as a rotational role player for the Colts.

The former second round pick started his career in Baltimore, playing three seasons for them. In his three years in Baltimore, Jernigan was a productive player for the Ravens. He started his career with 13 sacks over just three seasons from the defensive tackle position, as well as 16 tackles for a loss and 35 quarterback hits. Since joining the Eagles, Jernigan has not been the same player over the last two years. He showed in just 18 games over the last two years and had just two and a half sacks to show for it.

Jernigan could benefit from a change of scenery, and going to Indianapolis could be where he is able to get his career back on track. At just 26 years old, Jernigan still has a lot left in the tank to prove he can still be the same player he was in Baltimore. Jernigan would be worth the risk for Indianapolis to add depth to their defensive line.

. Darqueze Dennard. Cornerback. . 3.. player. 56.

It appears that, with the signing of B.W. Webb, the Cincinnati Bengals will be letting slot cornerback Darqueze Dennard walk in free agency. A first round pick out of Michigan State in 2014, Dennard has been a very reliable piece to the Cincinnati defense. We have seen most of Dennard’s success come from the slot, rather than on the outside. Dennard was one of the few bright spots in 2018 for the Bengals.

Since being drafted, Dennard has played in 68 out of a possible 80 regular season games for the Bengals. When healthy, Dennard has been one of the leagues better slot cornerbacks. Dennard has allowed a completion percentage of around 70 when targeted and a passer rating around 100. Dennard’s biggest strength has been his tackling. Dennard is a very reliable tackler and rarely misses open field tackles, making him a very nice run defender.

Dennard’s injury history is definitely a red flag, but nothing bad enough to keep the Colts from at least entertaining the idea of signing him to a multi year deal. Dennard is a tough player who could still see improvement with an improved coaching staff.

. 2.. player. 57. Pick Analysis. Cornerback. Bryce Callahan. Scouting Report

Primarily lining up in the slot, Bryce Callahan has been on of the league’s best slot cornerbacks in the past four years, when healthy. As an undrafted free agent for the Bears, Callahan has been terrific in the 45 games he has played for them. Unfortunately, Callahan has missed 19 games over the last four years and has yet to play anything longer than a 13 game season.

In a division with slot wide receivers like Will Fuller and Adam Humphries, Callahan would be a terrific addition to the Colts secondary that already features Pierre Desir and Malik Hooker. With four interceptions and three sacks over the last two years, Callahan’s impact would be immediately felt.

However, the biggest risk is health. The Colts would have to gamble that a player who has never stayed healthy can finally stay healthy, which is a risk the Colts may not be willing to take. But, if the Colts are able to work out a cheap prove it deal, Callahan would be an excellent addition in Indianapolis.

. Strong Safety. . Eric Berry. player. 124. . 1.

If you follow football even a little bit, you have likely heard of Eric Berry and his incredible story. A first round pick in 2010 by the Kansas City Chiefs, Berry has been a staple of the Chiefs defense since day one. Berry missed about half of his 2014 season when he discovered he had cancer. That didn’t slow Berry down, as he was back on the field in 2015 and played a full season just a year after his diagnosis and even went on to earn first team All-Pro honors that year.

Aside from his incredible story, Berry is also an excellent football player and a true leader on and off of the field. Already equipped with Malik Hooker at free safety, adding Berry to strong safety would give the Colts an excellent one two punch at the safety positions. Berry could be the leader of a young Colts defense while still providing above average play.

Berry has played in just three games the last two season due to injury, so it is fair to question what football shape he will return in.

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However, Berry’s leadership and football IQ would be enough to make him worth the risk if the Colts decide to pursue him. Berry is still dedicated to the game and it is safe to assume he still has some left in the tank. The Colts have a hole at strong safety, and Berry could be the perfect piece they need to add.