NFL Analyst Believes Massive Colts Trade Could 'Transform the League'

The Indianapolis Colts can always use more high-level talent, even if it means a big-time trade.
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The Indianapolis Colts defense experienced a rollercoaster of highs and lows once the 2023 season finished. While the unit displayed fantastic abilities at times, the pitfalls were brutal, resulting in the 28th-ranked defense in points allowed per game (24.4). This finish was due to a combination of inexperience, youth, and injuries in the worst spots for Gus Bradley's scheme. However, there are high hopes for 2024 on what this defense has learned, and if then-rookies like notables JuJu Brents and Jaylon Jones can take the next step toward being the consistent starting cornerbacks.

However, there's always room to continue building a defensive lineup like what Indianapolis has, but would the Colts pull the switch on a big-time trade to acquire such talent? NFL analyst for Bleacher Report Ryan Fowler details a potential blockbuster deal where the Colts acquire two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jonathan Allen from the Washington Commanders.

Adding a defender with the skill set of Jonathan Allen could be the addition that elevates the Colts in a loaded AFC. The two-time Pro Bowler is a force within the interior that has evolved into one of the leagues premier three-down defensive tackles.

Ryan Fowler | Bleacher Report

Fowler's assessment is an interesting one, but would indeed elevate the Indianapolis defensive front to a new ceiling. Allen is coming off a solid year with the Commanders where he snagged 5.5 sacks, 53 tackles, and 10 tackles for loss. Allen also provided 49 quarterback pressures per Pro Football Focus; Indy can use interior pass-rushing along with DeForest Buckner.

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However, there are a few things about this that don't add up. First, the money Allen commands with how the Colts typically do things as a front office. Per Over The Cap, the Commanders are paying Allen a hefty $18 million annually. If this trade goes through, not only will Indy surrender two future draft picks (2025-second round; 2026 fourth round), but they are on the hook for the remaining years of his deal ($29.5 million total for 2024 and 2025). Don't expect Indy to pony up that kind of money for a player who fell off from stellar 2021 and 2022 campaigns (both Pro Bowl).

Second, to put it bluntly, he's atrocious in run defense. Per Pro Football Focus Allen was an abysmal 37.9 in run defense on 325 run snaps. While he's fantastic at getting after the quarterback (77.6 pass-rushing grade), Indianapolis isn't going after a player with that price tag who is worse than their backup defensive tackle Taven Bryan at run defense (43.7 on 190 run defense snaps). Not only this, but Indy recently acquired Raekwon Davis and retained Grover Stewart (three years, $39 million), the latter of whom is a great run defender (77.3 grade on 224 run snaps).

Fowler has the right idea here. Indianapolis needs to elevate their overall pass rush to get after quarterbacks in the division like C.J. Stroud (Houston Texans), Trevor Lawrence (Jacksonville Jaguars), and Will Levis (Tennessee Titans), but they've got this in multiple forms and since have added Laiatu Latu. While Latu is a rookie, he's been through a storm to be in the NFL and is arguably the most pro-ready defender from the draft. Indianapolis likely has who they will deploy for the 2024 regular season currently on their roster and probably isn't looking to spend this much money on interior defense.

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Drake Wally


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