INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Indianapolis Colts’ initial step into the NFL’s free-agent waters landed a big wide receiver.
The team has agreed with Carolina wideout Devin Funchness on a 1-year deal that could be worth as much as $13 million, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. It includes a $10 million base salary and the ability for Funchess to earn another $3 million through incentives. NFL Network first reported the agreement.
The Colts also have extended one-year, $3 million tenders to wideout Chester Rogers, safety Matthias Farley and center Evan Boehm. Each is a restricted free agent.
Funchess addresses one of general manager Chris Ballard’s offseason concerns: acquiring a reliable sidekick to four-time Pro Bowler T.Y. Hilton. Funchess, 24, was a second-round pick of the Panthers in 2015.
He also brings intriguing size to the roster: 6-4, 225. By comparison, Hilton is a Smurf-ish 5-10, 183 pounds.
In four seasons with Carolina, Funchess appeared in 61 games with 40 starts. He was targeted 311 times and generated 161 receptions for 2,233 yards and 21 TDs. Funchess had 44 catches for 549 yards and four TDs last season.
He joins a receiving room that, at this time, includes Hilton, Rogers, Deon Cain, Reece Fountain, Zach Pascal and Marcus Johnson. Dontrelle Inman and Ryan Grant become unrestricted free agents Wednesday.
While the Colts and Funchess have agreed to the 1-year deal, no contract can be finalized until after the start of the new league year, which is 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Hopefully, the Colts will experience better luck with Funchess than they have with previous veteran free agents. The list includes: Donnie Avery, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Hakeem Nicks, Andre Johnson, Kamar Aiken and Grant.
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.