Regarding how he plans to use the team’s $50 million-plus of cap space, Colts GM Chris Ballard explained that he plans to reward their homegrown talent while adding pieces they believe fit their team.
“This is one thing that I’ve been very consistent about since I walked in the door. I knew we needed to build a core base of young talent here. And it’s easier to train your own. We want to be able to train our own players,” Ballard said, via Colts.com. “Does that mean we’re against free agency? No. It does not, and I think we have some examples on our team with Margus Hunt, Al Woods, (Denico) Autry, Ryan Grant, (Matt) Slauson . We’ve gone out. Is it the A-level guys that the media and everybody writes about? No, but these are good football players that we signed and we thought we got at good value for our team. And you want to continue doing that. I think sometimes just spending money to spend money — nah, that’s not always the smart thing to do. And when you do build your team up with your own guys, and they get to their second contracts and you begin to reward them, that’s when I think you’ll start to see some of that cap space disappear. Is there a time that we could go into free agency and we see a piece that we think fits and it fits culturally, from not only from a scheme perspective, but also from a character perspective? When you bring a guy into your locker room and you him a highly-paid player, there’s a lot more that comes with that than just playing on the field. That means that guy needs to do everything right because he’s looked upon differently than the rest of the locker room.”
“I’ve been watching him for a long time, since he was at Georgia Tech and since he’s been in the NFL,” O’Brien said, via the Houston Chronicle. “Excellent athletic skills, great hands, really good route runner, very smooth route runner. He’s a tough guy to defend.”