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After signin
14-09-2018, 02:43 PM
Post: #1
200
After signin
Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard promised to be smart in free agency.

He declined to be swayed by splashy moves and refused to overspend – on his players or anyone else’s.

Now Ballard is diving head first into the second wave of free agency. After signing tight end Eric Ebron on Monday Larry Johnson Jersey , he added receiver Ryan Grant and offensive lineman Matt Slauson on Tuesday.

”I’m going to bring myself and everything that comes with me which is energy, fun, excitement and a will to win,” Ebron said on a conference call Monday night. ”Everything after that, you guys are going to have to see for yourself because I’ve learned a lesson not to talk about anything before it happens.”

Ballard is sticking to his game plan.

He has repeatedly said he intends to build through the draft, develop players in-house and merely supplement the Colts’ roster in free agency.

Even though he went into the offseason with more than $70 million to spend, he’s remained frugal.

ESPN.com has reported that Ebron’s deal is for two years and up to $15 million. Slauson signed a one-year deal worth $3 million, and Grant agreed to a one-year deal worth $5 million after initially joining Baltimore – the Ravens cut him loose after he failed a physical. Grant injured his ankle in Week 17 and has been working his way back. He was surprised by the Ravens’ decision.

”I can’t control what they did. I can’t control their assessment of my ankle,” Grant said during a conference call. ”I’ve gone other places, I’ve seen multiple doctors and I’ve passed physicals, so that should pretty much speak for itself.”

The only other player Indianapolis has signed is defensive lineman Denico Autry, who signed a three-year deal worth $17.8 million.

All four fill needs Stefon Diggs Jersey , though.

Autry recorded a career-high five sacks with the Oakland Raiders last season and could help new defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus create a more consistent pass rush. The Colts finished 31st in the NFL last year with 25 sacks.

Grant spent his first four seasons with the Washington Redskins and is expected to compete with Chester Rogers for the starting job opposite Pro Bowler T.Y. Hilton following Donte Moncrief’s departure. The 6-foot, 204-pound Grant produced his best season in 2017 – 45 receptions, 573 yards and four TDs.

Slauson has started 108 games since entering the league with the New York Jets in 2009. He was in Chicago when Ballard was working with the Bears, and Slauson played for new Colts offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo with both the Jets and Chargers.

Ebron, the Detroit Lions’ first-round pick in 2014, was released last week after developing a reputation for dropping passes. In Indianapolis, he’ll have a chance to jump-start his career playing alongside Jack Doyle, who appeared in his first Pro Bowl last season, and Erik Swoope, a converted basketball player who climbed into the No. 2 spot on the Colts’ depth chart.

The happiest guy might be Andrew Luck, who gets two new receivers and a potential upgrade along the line, which has been a major hole since Luck entered the league as the top overall pick in the 2012 draft.

Slauson has played both guard and center and is willing to do either with his new team.

Ballard’s biggest offseason move was the trade he pulled off Saturday.

He swapped first-round picks with the Jets Lane Taylor Jersey , giving up the No. 3 overall pick to get the No. 6 pick and two additional second-round picks this year and the Jets’ second-round pick in 2019. That deal gives Indianapolis four picks in the top 50 this year and three picks in the first two rounds next year.

”We need to add some young talent to this roster,” Ballard told the team’s web site following the trade. ”So the ability to tab seven guys in the next two years who are all first and second round picks over the next two years was attractive to us.”



The Atlanta Falcons have entered the free-agency period facing financial constraints made more difficult by the league’s soaring market for quarterbacks.

The Falcons addressed a need on Wednesday’s first day of free agency by signing offensive guard Brandon Fusco, who started 16 games for San Francisco last season, to a three-year deal.

Fusco, who began his career with the Vikings, could immediately start at right guard.

An offseason priority is reaching a new deal with quarterback Matt Ryan, the 2016 NFL MVP. Ryan can become a free agent following the upcoming final season on his six-year, $103.75 million contract.

General manager Thomas Dimitroff has expressed optimism about reaching a new deal with Ryan this offseason.

”I think it’s not going to be that difficult of a negotiation, quite honestly,” Dimitroff said after last season.

Now, however, the market has become more expensive.

Ryan is set to earn $19.25 million in 2018 Gabe Jackson Jersey , and Drew Brees of the NFC South rival New Orleans Saints has just signed a new two-year deal reportedly worth $50 million . Meanwhile, Jimmy Garoppolo, who has played in only 23 games in his career, last month signed a five-year, $137.5 million deal with San Francisco.

Dimitroff said at the NFL draft combine on March 2 the Garoppolo contract, worth a record $27.5 million per year, ”complicates things.”

”I think a lot of quarterbacks are honed in on what’s going on,” Dimitroff said.

Though Ryan couldn’t match his 2016 production and the Falcons’ offense struggled at times last season , the quarterback appears to be headed for a raise.

It would help the Falcons’ offseason efforts if Ryan, who turns 33 on May 17, will agree to a deal that relieves salary cap pressure for 2018.

The team’s available cap space was about $9 million after re-signing kicker Matt Bryant , offensive lineman Austin Pasztor and cornerbacks Leon McFadden and Blidi Wreh-Wilson.

Atlanta released defensive end Derrick Shelby and announced plans to release tight end Levine Toilolo in cost-cutting moves.

Also Kyle Wilber Jersey , the Falcons this week placed second-round tenders on safety Ricardo Allen and guard Ben Garland, who are restricted free agents.

There wasn’t financial room to re-sign all the looming free agents – especially with Ryan’s new deal looming.

”Matt Ryan’s situation of course has some play in dictating where we are and how creative we are in free agency and re-signing some of our other players,” Dimitroff said.

”Anytime you’re signing a top-tier quarterback you’re going to be faced with complications. That’s just the way it is.”

The team’s defensive front took a hit on Wednesday, the first day of free agency, when starters Adrian Clayborn, who led the team with 9 sacks last season, and Dontari Poe became unrestricted free agents. Among other key players who became unrestricted free agents were fullback Derrick Coleman, wide receiver Taylor Gabriel, linebacker Kemal Ishmael and defensive tackle Courtney Upshaw.

After signing Fusco, Atlanta’s needs in free agency and the NFL draft include defensive line and tight end.



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