The Indianapolis Colts had an eventful day on March 6th with two signings in one day. First of all, the Indianapolis Colts re-signed punter Pat McAfee to a 5 year deal worth $14 million according to multiple media sources. This was a fantastic move by the Colts. If you read my previous post, McAfee was one of the top five free agents the Colts had to bring back to the team. One of the greatest factors of bringing the 6th year punter is that in addition to his production and the fact that he is a fan favorite, is his age, or lack thereof. Pat McAfee is only 26 years old playing in one of the least physically demanding positions in the sport. So, barring future injuries, McAfee could punt the ball well into his forties if he so desired. He’s had no injury problems so far in his career. In fact, Pat McAfee only missed one game in his career via suspension in 2010. There was a second signing on the 6th, one that brings in a new face to Indianapolis.
D'Qwell Jackson, ILB for the Indianapolis Colts
The second March 6th signing by the Colts was D’Qwell Jackson, an inside linebacker whose played his entire 9 year career thus far for the Cleveland Browns, to $22 million contract for the next 4 seasons. For those of you who aren't that familiar with the latest acquisition, D’Qwell Jackson was a second round draft pick (#34 overall) for the Browns in the 2006 NFL Draft out of the University of Maryland. He grew to become one of the leaders on Browns’ defense and one of their best tacklers. The 6 foot two-hundred and forty pounder actually lead his team in tackles with a total of 141 in the 2013-2014 campaign. The player that had the second most tackles in Cleveland, strong safety T.J Ward, had 112 tackles (29 fewer than Jackson). The Colts need good tackling within their front seven, especially against the run. The team allowed 125.1 yards a game on the ground last season, which ranked 26th in the league. Indianapolis is hoping that D’Qwell Jackson will continue to produce at a high level and help improve the interior of the defense.
These two moves were good moves for the Colts to make in my humble option. The re-signed a fine punter, who is also a fan favorite and has many years of kicking the long ball in his future. The addition of D’Qwell Jackson should bring a sure tackler that is desperately needed on the defense. Veteran leadership that Jackson should be able to offer any young players to join the Colts in the near future is also a plus. The only criticism that I have on Jackson’s contract is that he is 30 years old on the first year of his contract and you never know when ‘Father Time’ will begin to take his toll and the linebacker’s game will begin to diminish. However, that is an unknown factor that all experienced players has to face.
Congratulations to Pat McAfee and D’Qwell Jackson on their new contracts! Here’s to a successful season for you both!