NFL: Colts Focus On Depth Early In Free Agency

Gosder+Cherilus+Indianapolis+Colts+Free+AgentThe Indianapolis Colts didn’t waste any time to add depth to their team.

The free agency period started yesterday and within the first few hours, the Colts announced five signings.

The most important of those signings is former first-round pick Gosdar Cherilus. He is slated to replaced Winston Justice at right tackle.

The Colts know they have to protect quarterback Andrew Luck if they plan on having success.

Who else did the Colts sign? We fill you in after the jump…

Before I list the rest of the signings, it’s important to note the reason the Lions let walk. He had microfracture surgery on his knee in 2010 and even went to Germany for a procedure last offseason. The terms of his deal with the Colts were not disclosed. Let’s hope it didn’t cost Indianapolis too much for the risky signing.

The other signings are former New England guard Donald Thomas, former Green Bay linebacker Erik Walden, former Arizona cornerback Greg Toler and former Atlanta defensive end Lawrence Sidbury.

Thomas is a veteran guard who started eight games for the New England Patriots over the last two seasons. The signing adds much needed depth on the offensive line.

Walden has played five seasons with Kansas City, Miami and Green Bay. He has totaled 68 tackles and six sacks over the last two seasons with the Packers.

Arizona didn’t re-sign Toler because he was clearly a player who added depth at cornerback. He missed the entire 2011 season due to a torn ACL. He registered two interceptions in 11 games with Arizona.

Lastly, Sidbury is a 6’2, 266-pound linebacker who will enter his fifth season in the NFL. His best season came in 2011 when he had four sacks with the Falcons.

These signings are lost in the slew of big names who signed big deals yesterday, but they’re important. The Colts showed their lack of depth when a few key players went down with an injury. If team wants to be a title contender, they must have depth at every position.

I expect them to be in the hunt for a wide receiver to pair up with Reggie Wayne. Indianapolis is not expected to re-sign Donnie Avery and they released Austin Collie early this year. If they don’t fill the need in free agency, look for them to use their third-round pick on a receiver. They don’t have a second round pick in this year’s draft, since they sent it to the Miami Dolphins for cornerback Vontae Davis.

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