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Bleacher Report Identifies One Player Colts Should Consider Adding This Off-Season

Likely needing to address left tackle for the second straight offseason, Bleacher Report identifies one key free agent the Colts could chase in the offseason, which could fortify the left tackle position for years to come. (Video via Indianapolis Colts YouTube)

After going bargain-bin shopping to address left tackle following the retirement of Anthony Castonzo, the Indianapolis Colts could find themselves in a similar position once again in the next offseason: needing to solidify left tackle for years to come. 

The additions of Eric Fisher, Julie'n Davenport, and Sam Tevi hasn't quite worked out as expected as Fisher has struggled in pass protection (though he's been good in the run game), Davenport is just a mess overall, and Tevi tore his ACL in the preseason. 

Swing tackle Matt Pryor has certainly solidified his position on the 53-man roster moving forward, assuming General Manager Chris Ballard inks him to a new contract this offseason, but he is not a long-term starting left tackle. 

That leaves the Colts searching for an answer at left tackle once again. According to Bleacher Report's Brent Sobleski, that answer could be found via free agency in the former of standout left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. 

Oct 3, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Orlando Brown (57) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Brown Jr. was traded from the Baltimore Ravens to the Kansas City Chiefs last off-season. The Chiefs traded their 2021 first-round pick (No. 31 overall), a third-rounder (94), fourth-round pick (136) and a 2022 fifth-round selection in exchange for Brown and a 2021 second-round pick (No. 58) and a 2022 sixth-round pick.

Since then, the Chiefs failed to come to an agreement on a long-term contract extension with Brown Jr., leaving the highly sought-after tackle an unrestricted free agent ahead of the 2022 offseason. Though he's had his struggles in pass protection at times making the shift from right tackle in Baltimore to left tackle in Kansas City, Brown Jr. has remained an elite-level run blocker, which leaves Sobleski believing he's an ideal fit in Indianapolis. 

The Kansas City Chiefs made a concerted effort to acquire Orlando Brown Jr. this offseason, and he's been an integral part of the team's success. The thought of him actually reaching free agency without a new deal may be slim, but the Indianapolis Colts should be waiting if he does test the market.  

Eric Fisher has been solid in his first season with the Colts. Is he the same player he was before he suffered a torn Achilles in last season's AFC Championship Game? Not quite. But he's certainly passable.

At the same time, Fisher just turned 31, and he's a pending free agent. Brown, on the other hand, will be 26 in May and is a better long-term investment, especially in a run-first offense, which is where he thrived to start his career with the Baltimore Ravens. 

The Colts could be set up front for a long time with running back Jonathan Taylor leading the way, as long as left tackle is addressed.

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Brown Jr. certainly makes a ton of sense for the Colts, considering the run-heavy scheme Indianapolis employs, but the real — and only true — question that remains here is the cost for Brown Jr. on the open market. 

Currently, Spotrac projects Brown Jr. at five years and nearly $90m on the open market, putting him right around $18 million a season, which would put him in line contract-wise with the likes of Las Vegas' Kolton Miller, Houston's Laremy Tunsil and Denver's Garrett Bolles. 

Realistically, Browns is better than all but Tunsil in that group, so it makes sense to hand out a contract of that size to the 26 year old. 

Will the Colts do it though? Unlikely, considering the need to still lock up star left guard Quenton Nelson, and the Colts' propensity to not spend big in free agency under Ballard. It's much more plausible that the Colts search for a left tackle in the 2022 NFL Draft despite not having a first-round pick, while also bringing back Fisher on another one-year deal. 

It's fun to consider the other names out there though, and what could possibly happen with the roster construction this offseason. 

Have thoughts on Bleacher Report labeling Orlando Brown Jr. as a possible match for the Colts this offseason? Drop a line in the comments section below letting us know how you feel. 


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