The Colts continue to identify holes in their roster and fill them right up.
The Indianapolis Colts have signed free agent left tackle Eric Fisher to a one-year deal worth $9.4 million, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday.
Left tackle, the guy that usually protects the quarterback’s blind side, is a position that has taken on more and more importance in the NFL in recent years. Indy hasn’t had a worry there for a while, but after their stalwart left tackle over the past decade, Anthony Castonzo, abruptly retired at the age of 32 in January, all of a sudden they were in trouble.
Enter Fisher. He’s an eight-year veteran who was made the first overall choice by the Kansas City Chiefs back in 2013. Whether fair or not, being the No. 1 pick brought with it expectations that were very high for the Central Michigan alumnus right out of the gate.
He struggled at various points over his first few seasons, but he really came into his own over the past few campaigns, earning Pro Bowl nods in 2018 and after last season as well. He didn’t miss a game from 2014-2018, starting 77 of a possible 80 games. Then the injuries started.
First, it was a core muscle issue that kept him off the field for eight regular season games during Kansas City’s Super Bowl run in 2019, though Fisher did start in all three postseason contests, including the victory in Super Bowl LIV. Then last season, after his second Pro Bowl campaign in three years, Fisher tore his achilles during his team’s AFC Championship triumph over the Buffalo Bills in January.
The fact that Fisher just turned 30 combined with the achilles tear and salary cap issues forced the Chiefs’ hand in releasing the big left tackle in March, which made him one of the more attractive left tackle options still on the free agent market.
Well, not anymore: Colts general manager Chris Ballard—who was in the Chiefs’ front office when they first selected Fisher back in 2013—made sure of that with his Monday signing.
Fisher joins one of the best offensive lines in the game, with a perennial All-Pro in mauler Quenton Nelson slotted in right next to him at left guard, and a Pro Bowler in the middle in center Ryan Keely. Mark Glowinski at right guard and Braden Smith at right tackle fill out the Colts’ offensive front five right now. This could very well be one of the best offensive lines in football for the 2021 campaign.
That’s good news for Colts fans and bettors, because they are still offering solid +100 NFL odds to win the AFC South, just ahead of the Tennessee Titans, who boast slightly higher +110 odds. Indy is also sitting 12th on 888sport’s table for odds to win the Super Bowl, with +2,200 odds that could make this NFL pick the bargain of the century if newly-acquired quarterback Carson Wentz returns to his MVP form of 2017.
Wentz was clearly on the top of the Colts’ brass minds with this signing, as a reliable and solid left tackle was going to be crucial to helping Wentz rediscover his All-Pro form from a few years ago.
He’s in a much better position now than he was with the Philadelphia Eagles. There were constant calls for Nick Foles to overtake him as the starter there, and once Foles left it was second-round pick Jalen Hurts breathing down his neck.
Now, he’s the undisputed No. 1 guy on a team led by Frank Reich, who was Philly’s offensive coordinator during that special 2017 season for Wentz. Turnovers and bad decisions have been abundant for Wentz over the past year or so, but that is not all down to him.
The Eagles had a very subpar receiving corps, for one, but more important was the fact that Wentz was running for his life on almost every play: he was sacked 50 times last season, more than any quarterback in the NFL despite the fact that he played in only 12 games. With less pressure in his face thanks to the Fisher signing, the sky seems to be the limit for Wentz and the 2021 Colts.