The Indianapolis Colts have made quite a few moves this free agency period after one week signing a few big name players to try and make a run at the Super Bowl in Arizona this upcoming season. These players will have to come up big in 2014 in order to achieve that goal.
1. Linebacker D’Qwell Jackson: 4 years, $22 million ($11 million guaranteed)
Former Cleveland Browns linebacker D’Qwell Jackson was the first of the big name the Colts decided to sign to help build a defense that struggled in 2013 stopping the run. In 2013, Jackson finished with a total of 141 tackles on a Browns defense that held their own in a good amount of games despite a losing record. With eight years of experience under his belt along with being a defensive captain for the Browns, Jackson brings a strong defensive presence and tons of leadership to a young defense looking to establish and identity in 2014 and future years to come.
2. Defensive End Arthur Jones: 5 years, $33 million ($10 million guaranteed)
Former Baltimore Raven defensive end Arthur Jones is the perfect fit for the Colts’ 3-4 style defense they run. With Jones having experience working with a 3-4 defense in his 4 years at Baltimore and even working with former defensive coordinator and now Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, there will be a lot of familiarity in Indianapolis. Jones’ strength and size for a defensive end is exactly what the Colts will need in order to generate a pass rush from more than just Robert Mathis.
3. Wide Receiver Hakeem Nicks: 1 year, $3.5 million
After spending five years in New York, former Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks has come to Indianapolis not only to help the Colts win a title, but to prove he still has a lot to offer in the NFL. 2013 was a disappointing year for Nicks as he didn’t catch a single touchdown all season. But at 6-foot-1 with enormous hands, Nicks will look to step up and have a monster year and build a strong connection with Colts quarterback Andrew Luck. With Reggie Wayne looking to come back strong after his season-ending injury in 2013 and receiver T.Y. Hilton coming off a strong 2013 campaign as well, Nicks will look to give the Colts another weapon on offense to hopefully put up a bunch of points in 2014.
These pieces along with many others the Colts have signed are big stepping stones in their ultimate goal as a team: win Super Bowl XLIX.