The Indianapolis Colts are in a serious state of transition and it brings a close to one of the greatest runs in the history of fantasy football. While the Colts have lost players like Marshall Faulk, Edgerrin James and Marvin Harrison in the past, they’ve always been a source for automatic player production with Peyton Manning at the helm. Out with the old and in with the new, they say.
If you’re the Colts, be careful what you wish for. Along with your former GM and Head Coach, the Colts are losing the following:
Peyton Manning, QB (released)
54,828 Passing yards
13 years as of service
Reggie Wayne, WR (free agent)
11,708 receiving yards
11 years of service
Dallas Clark, TE (released)
4,887 receiving yards
9 years of service
Joseph Addai, RB (released)
4,453 rushing yards
6 years of service
The Colts are purging a total of 75,876 yards, 564 touchdowns and 39 combined years of service. That’s without factoring the possible losses of Dwight Freeney and Pierre Garcon as well. That’s 43 miles worth of offense – just take a second to soak that in.
For the first time in more than a decade, the Colts are in true rebuilding mode. Indianapolis is going to start from scratch, most likely with Andrew Luck at the helm. Questions about who will surround him have to be of some concern to anyone who drafts Luck. The last thing anyone wants to see is for him to get “David Carr-ed” and this team has been gutted to the core.
Regardless, the old Colts are now free to look for greener pastures, so we take a look at what to expect from each of them.
Peyton Manning, QB
This story hasn’t been covered at all. If healthy, few are better, even if it’s just for the short term.
Reggie Wayne, WR
Curtis Painter, Kerry Collins and Dan Orlovsky didn’t do him any favors last year. Wayne had an awful season by his standards, posting just 75 catches for 960 yards and four scores – that performance snapped a streak of seven straight 1,000 yard seasons.
There are some serious questions about what the 33 year old Wayne has left in the tank. Was his production all because of poor quarterback play or has he lost a step? Regardless, Wayne won’t find himself in the same position for elite production as he’s enjoyed in the past. Many say his future is tied to Manning, but that may not be as good as what many people believe.
Take a second and really think about this.
If Manning goes to Miami and Wayne follows, he’d be a clear second option to Brandon Marshall. If he goes to Arizona, he’d find the same fate next to Larry Fitzgerald. Even Demaryius Thomas could be a real thorn in his production in Denver if Peyton chooses the Broncos.
At this point, Wayne has to be looked at as a very good possession receiver with the potential to be a WR2 in most leagues. His time as a clear cut WR1 is likely over.
Dallas Clark, TE
Remember that magical year where Clark had 100 catches, 1,106 yards and ten touchdowns? Yeah, that seems like ancient history for sure. His days as an elite tight end are over, due to a stockpile of injuries and age. Clark shouldn’t be dropped in case he somehow finds his way to a Manning-like destination or a high powered offense, but he’s no longer a building block in any way, shape or form. In fact, he could be done.
Joseph Addai, RB
Once heralded as the replacement for Edgerrin James in both fantasy and reality, Addai limps away from Indianapolis as a huge fantasy disappointment. While his career thus far hasn’t been a total bust (he does have 46 career touchdowns), he was never the elite runner that many dynasty owners hoped for.
Addai still could play a role on a team, but his days as the lead back are likely done. With a checkered injury history and a driver’s license that says he’s 29, he’s not likely going to be getting the same private plane treatment his former quarterback is enjoying about now.
The end of the Colts dynamic offensive attack is a sad one for veteran dynasty league owners. Much like the Rams and their “Greatest show on Turf” a few years before them, every era must sadly come to an end.
Andrew Luck and Sam Bradford may be able to rekindle the fire of their respective franchises, but they each have their work cut out for them.
Ken is on Twitter at DLF_KenK