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2022 NFL free agency: 7 players the Indianapolis Colts should let walk – Colts Wire

The Indianapolis Colts are just over a month away from the new league year opening, which means they’ll have their chances to make moves in free agency.
With a solid standing in the salary-cap department, the Colts can make as many moves as they want. It’s unlikely they will make splash additions, though, even if general manager Chris Ballard readjusts his process a bit when it comes to free agency.
The Colts have a number of players who held impactful roles set to hit the market when the middle of March arrives. We previously took a look at 12 pending free agents they should consider re-signing.
Now, it’s time to take a look at the players the Colts should let walk. This doesn’t mean the team should completely abandon these players but it might be best for them to test the market first in case there is a cheaper, younger and better alternative.
This list won’t include every player that the Colts shouldn’t bring back but instead, we’ll focus on the bigger names set to hit the market.
Here are seven pending free agents the Colts should let walk in 2022:
AP Photo/Matt Patterson
I don’t really know how to feel about this one. Hilton could still serve as a solid WR3/4 in an offense but the 2021 season was tough on the veteran. The longest-tenured player on the roster battled through a scary neck injury at the beginning of the season and then dealt with a quad injury and a concussion.
The Colts desperately need to upgrade their wide receiver room with talent outside of Michael Pittman Jr. despite Ballard’s bullishness. Maybe Hilton makes it easier on the team and decides to retire, but there’s more than a strong chance “The Ghost” played his final game in a Colts uniform.
Regardless, Hilton should one day wind up in the team’s Ring of Honor as one of the best wide receivers to ever grace Lucas Oil Stadium.
AP Photo/Matt Patterson
A reunion with Fisher for another season isn’t outside the realm of possibilities. His impact as a run blocker may have been strong enough to warrant another one-year contract if the Colts can’t find an immediate upgrade at left tackle.
That said, the 2021 season wasn’t fun to watch with Fisher on the blindside. Coming off of a torn Achilles, Fisher didn’t appear all the way back. His pass protection was shoddy at best, showing off a weak base against the bull rush and susceptibility when speed rushers ran the arc.
The Colts have a massive need at left tackle so re-signing Fisher isn’t a wild idea in the slightest, but the front office may want to prioritize pass protection over run blocking in 2022.
AP Photo/Michael Conroy
When the midway point of the season rolled around, the safety room for the Colts was in pieces. Breakout candidate Julian Blackmon tore his Achilles in Week 6 and Khari Willis suffered a calf injury that landed him on the injured reserve list in Week 9.
That led to the Colts trying their best to fill the starting roles with players off the street. Sendejo was the one who saw the most playing during that stretch. But that doesn’t mean it was all that productive for the veteran.
Sendejo proved to be a liability in coverage while taking questionable angles against ball carriers several times. No one is saying his job of coming off the street and immediately making an impact would be easy, but the Colts need to upgrade their depth at the position this offseason so they don’t have to rely on veterans to come off the street in starting roles.
AP Photo/Zach Bolinger
Before the Colts signed Eric Fisher during the 2021 offseason, they decided to go the cheaper route at offensive tackle in hopes of finding a diamond. That led to Davenport being one of the first free agents signed by the Colts.
Suffice it to say the experiment didn’t work out. Davenport showed nearly no semblance of being a reliable option at left tackle. He struggled in the run game and had no consistency as a pass protector.
Rob Carr/Getty Images
This has less to do about Mack’s abilities and more to do with the fact that Jonathan Taylor is now arguably the league’s best running back.
The writing was on the wall for the fourth-round pick back in 2020 when he tore his Achilles. The Colts still re-signed him to a one-year deal for depth purposes but Mack wound up being a healthy scratch for the majority of the season—even giving way to undrafted rookie Deon Jackson.
Mack requested a trade during the 2021 season, which wasn’t shocking in the slightest. It would be a major surprise if Mack didn’t take his talents elsewhere.
AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith
One of the biggest surprises during the season was the emergence of a pair of young cornerbacks. Rock Ya-Sin and Isaiah Rodgers both proved they are developing into strong options at cornerback and that emergence came mostly when Rhodes was recovering from a calf injury.
With a solid trio of cornerbacks already set, the Colts may want to look elsewhere for a veteran option on the boundary. With Ron Milus expected to join Gus Bradley’s staff, it would behoove the Colts to go after a player like Casey Hayward in free agency rather than re-signing Rhodes.
The Colts have seemingly done well when it comes to getting value out of veteran cornerbacks for 1-2 year spans. It’s time to let Rhodes go an bring in another veteran option to round out the rotation in the cornerback room.
AP Photo/Zach Bolinger
Though in a similar position to that of Davenport when it comes to being involved in the mass competition at left tackle, Tevi’s decision was made for him. The former sixth-round pick suffered a torn ACL during the preseason finale and spent the entire season on the injured reserve list.
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Ex-Colts LB Malik Jefferson signed with the Cowboys.
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