Obviously, the courting of free agent Dontari Poe highlighted the weekend. However, the Indianapolis Colts stayed busy by also making a few minor additions to the roster.
In total, the Colts added three players to their roster in the past two days. The first is a familiar name in Robert Turbin.
He was the Indianapolis’ backup running back in 2016. Specifically, he saw extended action in the Colts’ goal-line formations. As a result, the 27-year-old back had seven rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown for Indianapolis.
It appears that production pleased general manager Chris Ballard because he gave Turbin a two-year contract. The deal is worth up to $4.1 million. As one would imagine, Turbin was happy about the deal and about returning to Indy.
The Colts also signed an offensive lineman and a defensive linemen in addition to re-signing Turbin. Interior offensive lineman Brian Schwenke joined the Colts after being on the Tennessee Titans the last four seasons. Defensive end Margus Hunt left the Cincinnati Bengals to come to Indy.
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Schwenke can play both offensive guard and center. That versatility could be very useful to the Colts in 2017. Indianapolis let backup Jonotthan Harrison, who could also play center and guard, walk. Schwenke will likely battle with Austin Blythe for that vacant role.
Hunt spent the first four seasons of his NFL career in Cincinnati. He was nothing more than a role player who primarily appeared on special teams. The Colts could always use players who can contribute on special teams.
Ultimately, these three moves are not splashy signing. Most people are still waiting for Poe to make his decision. Still, these additions should make thing much more interesting in training camp.
The one thing Ballard has explicitly stated about his vision for the Colts is build a roster than is strong from top to bottom. He touched the subject when talking about the the offensive line to 1070 the Fan’s Dan Dakich earlier this month.
"“We’re going to continue to add talent to compete. We want to get to a point where we’re cutting players on this team that are going to play elsewhere. That’s when you know you’ve got it good; when you look up and you’ve got five or six guys that you cut that other people are claiming, that’s when you know you’ve got a roster that’s competitive and people had to earn their right on the 53.”"
While Turbin, Schwenke and Hunt may not be starters for the Colts, they fit Ballard’s overall goal. They add quality depth to the roster and help other players improve through in-team position battles.
If the Indianapolis drafts a future starter for Frank Gore, Turbin going to make that new running back work hard. Turbin is not going to easily relinquish his No. 2 spot. Meanwhile, Schwenke and Hunt will battle other for backup roster spots.
Again, the recent signings are not front page headlines. However, it does no mean they are important. All three players are proven professionals and could find a role with this franchise.
If they cannot make the team, specifically Schwenke and Hunt, they will have made everyone else better. These guys will compete for playing time and force other to improve at a faster rate. It will be interesting to see how Ballard continues to put his imprint on the Colts’ roster