Indianapolis Colts 2017 Season Recap
A few teams this past season found out what life was like without their franchise cornerstone quarterback. And in this particular case study, it was brutal.
2016 Record: 8-8
2017 Record: 4-12
Win differential: -4
What Happened? The Colts got caught in the worst of two worlds. On one hand, general manager Chris Ballard was in his first season on the job, trying to build the team from the remnants of his predecessor, Ryan Grigson. Ballard acquired a lot of low risk defensive help to try to shore up a notoriously weak unit. On the other hand, Andrew Luck, who underwent surgery on his throwing shoulder in the offseason, was ultimately lost for the entire 2017 campaign. Whether it was either a marginally successful surgery or the damage repaired was far more extensive then anyone realized, this places the long term future of both Luck and the Colts into serious question. While Luck is slated to be back on the field in 2018, if his performance does not at least come close to matching his previous norms, those concerns will only manifest themselves come next offseason.
What Comes Next: For a franchise that is ostensibly attempting to build a roster to maximize the projected prime years of Luck, Ballard's machinations in free agency are, to be polite, curious. The two most notable names now signed to Indy are tight end Eric Ebron from Detroit and offensive lineman Matt Slauson from New England, solid pros, to be sure. But outside of that, the Colts have spent judiciously. What makes it so curious is the fact that the Colts are sitting on a ton of salary cap room. As of this post, according to overthecap.com, Indianapolis has nearly $60 million of cap space at their disposal just for this year. Unless Ballard has a blockbuster trade in mind, possibly during the draft, it is puzzling that the Colts haven't been more engaged in free agency. Only time will tell on what will transpire in the Heartland.