The Indianapolis Colts are known to take chances on players from the Canadian Football League. This year is no different as they signed pass rusher Alex Bazzie.
The Colts have never been shy about signing CFL players to reserve/future contracts. Their most notable success was with inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman. Meanwhile, they have also had a couple failures like wide receiver Duron Carter.
Nonetheless, they continued their tradition of signing players north of the border by reaching an agreement with Bazzie Monday.
Bazzie was originally supposed to be a free agent on February 14. However, the 26-year-old pass rushing specialist reached an agreement with the Lions to allow to become a NFL free agent immediately. He signed with the Colts a few hour later.
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He has played three seasons in the Canadian Football League for the BC Lions. In total, he had 83 tackles, two forced fumbles, and 29 sacks in 50 games. This past season, he had 11 sacks for the Lions.
Bazzie spent his college football career at Marshall as defensive linemen. He went undrafted in the 2014 NFL Draft and decided to move to Canada rather than try to fight his way onto a practice squad.
Normally, a CFL signing would go relatively unnoticed, but this one is a little different because Bazzie fills a position need for the Colts. Indianapolis is desperately build a better pass rush, and it will most likely be a focus for them this offseason.
Their top pass rusher last season was Erik Walden, who is not a traditionally a pass rusher. He had 11 sacks, but he is 31 years old and set to become a free agent this summer. Meanwhile, Robert Mathis is retiring and veteran Trent Cole is probably not coming back.
For those wondering what Bazzie looks like, here are some highlights from the 6-2, 240-pound pass rusher’s 2016 Lions’ campaign.
Supposedly, Ryan Grigson and the Colts’ front office have had their eye on Bazzie for a while now. Back in December, he had a workout with team officials.
There is no way of telling how successful Bazzie will be as a Colt because the success rate of CFL players is relatively low. However, he will certainly be an interesting player to follow throughout the offseason.
Indianapolis has a lot of work to do on the defensive side of the ball. Only time will tell if this gamble will pay for the Colts in 2017.