5 Cut Candidates for Colts in 2024

The Indianapolis Colts must trim down their extensive roster to 53 names before the start of the season.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver D.J. Montgomery (2) runs into the end zone for a touchdown Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023, during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver D.J. Montgomery (2) runs into the end zone for a touchdown Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023, during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. / Robert Scheer/IndyStar / USA TODAY
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The Indianapolis Colts have plenty of talent heading toward the start of the 2024 training camp. This influx of depth at multiple positions is a double-edged sword for the Colts. On one end, it's a big win to have so much potential and backup in case of injury. However, there's always a tough decision that separates the current relationship and ties that the player has to the team and organization.

With the hard truth that only 53 players can make the Indy roster, it's time to look into the five most prominent cut candidates on the Colts team for 2024. We'll begin with a veteran defender who didn't see the field in 2023.

Genard Avery | Defensive End

Current Colts player Genard Avery plays for the Buccaneers in 2022, wearing a gray helmet with red pirate flag.
Oct 16, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Genard Avery (59) pass rushes at the line of scrimmage against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Genard Avery joined the Colts in 2023 after stints with the Cleveland Browns (2018-2019), Philadelphia Eagles (2019-2021), and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2022). During those campaigns, Avery provided depth and grabbed 106 tackles, 8.5 sacks, and five passes defended.

However, he had a brutal knee injury before his first year with the Colts could get started. Since then, names like Dayo Odeyingbo, Tyquan Lewis, and Laiatu Latu are now in the rotation with starters Samson Ebukam and Kwity Paye. This equation, along with no production due to injury last year, makes Avery expendable for 2024.

D.J. Montgomery | Wide Reciever

A Colts receiver runs away from Steelers defenders (white jerseys/black helmets) wearing a blue jersey and white helmet.
Dec 16, 2023; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver D.J. Montgomery (2) runs with the ball while Pittsburgh Steelers safety Trenton Thompson (17) defends in the first half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, former New York Jets pass-catcher D.J. Montgomery had a chance to see the field and make an impact for Shane Steichen and the Colts. Montgomery grabbed three catches for 56 receiving yards and a touchdown during his limited playing time.

However, not only was Montgomery on and off the roster multiple times in the fall of 2023, but he wasn't the best at capitalizing on opportunities. While he had three catches, those were on eight targets. The math adds up to a miserable mark of 37.5% of passes caught. With Adonai Mitchell being drafted, Ashton Dulin on his way back from an ACL tear, and Josh Downs starting to shine, look for Montgomery to be cut from Indy's ranks of receivers.

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Kedon Slovis | Quarterback

A Colts quarterback (Kedon Slovis) throws a pass during off-season workouts. He's wearing a red jersey for practice purposes.

Former BYU quarterback Kedon Slovis was picked up by Indianapolis as an undrafted free agent to compete in the quarterback room. Slovis had an up-and-down college career but settled as a Cougar to conclude. Slovis finished his career with 989/1,534 passes (64.4% completion) for 11,689 passing yards, 80 touchdowns, and 39 interceptions in 46 total games.

While Slovis is athletic and intriguing, he's also likely competing for the third-string quarterback spot with Sam Ehlinger. With Anthony Richardson and Joe Flacco occupying the top two spots, Indy wants a trusted name at QB3. Ehlinger may not be that great or flashy, but Steichen 100% knows his floor, which you're more concerned about than anything if the third-string quarterback has to play meaningful snaps. Slovis is a shiny weapon but is too volatile to trust for Indianapolis' needs as a field general on the depth chart.

Chris Lammons | Cornerback

A Colts defensive player (Chris Lammons) stands with his arms out while wearing a white helmet and jersey during a game.
Indianapolis Colts cornerback Chris Lammons (34) celebrates late in the second half of an NFL preseason game against Chicago on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The Colts defeated the Bears, 24-17. / Jenna Watson/IndyStar / USA TODAY

Former Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Chris Lammons was brought to Indy last year for potential depth and special teams purposes. However, it became apparent pretty quickly that Lammons was a cornerback that could be grossly exploited in pass coverage.

Multiple times during practices, Lammons looked slower and behind in scheme and assignment, namely against then-rookie Downs on several shorter routes. Lammons barely played in 2023 (six tackles and one pass defense) and currently is injured as the Colts move through the 2024 off-season.

Depth cornerbacks like Darrell Baker Jr. and Ameer Speed has more appeal than Lammons for a roster spot. Not to forget that rookie Micah Abraham was also drafted to be an addition to the cornerback position. Expect Lammons to be with a different team in 2024.

Taven Bryan | Defensive Tackle

A Colts defender (Taven Bryan) is tackling a Jaguars (teal uniform) while wearing an all-white uniform and helmet.
Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Taven Bryan (96) and teammates try to stop Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne Jr. (1) during first quarter action. The Jacksonville Jaguars hosted the Indianapolis Colts at EverBank Stadium in Jacksonville, FL Sunday, October 15, 2023. The Jaguars ended the first half with a 21 to 6 lead. [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union] / Bob Self/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY

Indianapolis signed veteran defensive tackle Taven Bryan last season to a one-year deal worth $3.51 million, per Over the Cap. However, Indianapolis likely regretted the decision to bring Bryan onto the team. The former first-round selection (2018) grabbed 22 tackles and two sacks for the Colts through 17 games (seven starts.)

Bryan's role was to be a backup defensive tackle option for DeForest Buckner and Grover Stewart but with upside as a pass-rusher from the interior on passing downs. Instead, Bryan saw more snaps than he was supposed to after Stewart sat six games due to suspension. What ensued for Bryan was a microcosm of why his 'first-round' draft tag is merely a label for a bust at defensive tackle.

Bryan had solid grades for pass-rushing, putting up a Pro Football Focus mark of 68.7 with 11 pressures. But he was atrocious as a run defender, often having a target painted on his jersey for opposing offensive coordinators. Bryan concluded with a brutal 43.7 run defense metric and isn't likely to see running downs if Gus Bradley can avoid it.

After a head-scratching signing by Indianapolis to retain Bryan (one-year, $2 million), we'll see if he can sustain a spot. Now Raekwon Davis and Adetomiwa Adebawore occupy the spaces behind Buckner and Stewart with Bryan; they also are higher-level players with better potential. Bryan's future in Indianapolis doesn't look bright, but we'll see what happens in the defensive tackle competition.  

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Drake Wally


Drake Wally covers the Indianapolis Colts at Horseshoe Huddle and co-hosts the Horseshoe Huddle Podcast.