With the possible exception of adding a few lesser priced players coming on board, the Indianapolis Colts' big-time foray into the veteran free agent marketplace is pretty much done.
For a franchise that has usually watched from the sidelines each spring while other National Football League teams threw money at players from other teams, the Colts --- flush with nearly $43 million in salary cap space -- added seven players this week.
All seven -- defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois (San Francisco), strong safety LaRon Landry (NY Jets), offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus (Detroit), offensive guard Donald Thomas (New England), outside linebacker Erik Walden (Green Bay), cornerback Greg Toler (Arizona), and outside linebacker Lawrence Sidbury (Atlanta) -- have a chance to be difference makers either as starters or as key backups.
It's the most active that the Colts have been in the veteran free agent market since 1999. Former general manager Bill Polian also added seven players heading into his second year on the job, the same as current GM Ryan Grigson.
Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano reviewed their most recent roster additions Friday morning and came away from the past week pleased with the results.
"I just want to thank Ryan, [player personnel director] Jimmy Raye, the entire scouting staff. I don’t think there is anybody in the entire National Football League that grinds like Ryan and his crew grinds and the process that they go through. The evaluation process is unbelievable and I don’t think anybody in the National Football League does it any better," Pagano said.
"I think that’s why we were able to acquire the players that we were able to acquire and we feel great about every one of them. We feel like we’ve upgraded in a lot of areas. But a ton of thanks to Ryan and Jimmy Raye and the entire scouting staff. Our coaches did a great job when asked to evaluate things. We feel really good about the additions.”