INDIANAPOLIS – The answer to one of the Indianapolis Colts’ lingering offseason questions: Eric Fisher.
The veteran left tackle, who’s on the mend from a torn Achilles, has agreed to a one-year, $9.4 million contract with the Indianapolis Colts, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
Fisher reacted to the news in an Instagram post:
Let’s get after it Indy! Excited to announce that I am a Colt!! Super pumped for this opportunity to bounce back and have a great season with an incredible organization. Thank you to the Irsay family, Chris Ballard, and Coach Reich for believing in me to get the job done. Can’t wait to get to work and win BIG!
The addition of Fisher comes after 10-year cornerstone Anthony Castonzo retired in January, veterans Sam Tevi and Julién Davenport were added with one-year deals in March and general manager Chris Ballard didn’t address the position with a viable prospect in the NFL Draft.
“Anytime you have a player like Anthony Castonzo retire, it’s a need and we signed some guys who we think are pretty good football players,’’ Ballard said after the draft. “We’ll continue to scour the market.’’
The scouring ended Monday.
Fisher, 30, was in Indy for a visit last week and subsequent negotiations produced a contract.
The overriding question: When will Fisher be ready to step on the field and be the blindside protector for quarterback Carson Wentz?
The 1st overall pick in the 2013 draft started 113 of 117 regular-season games and 11 playoff games with the Chiefs, and was a Pro Bowl selection in 2018 and ‘20. He started 15 regular-season games and two postseason games in 2020 before tearing an Achilles tendon in Kansas City’s AFC Championship game win over Buffalo.
Fisher earned an 80.1 grade from Pro Football Focus last season, tied for 16th with the Colts’ right tackle Braden Smith. Castonzo was ranked 32nd (73.4).
The size of the one-year investment – it remains to be seen how much of the $9.4 million is guaranteed – seems to indicate the Colts believe Fisher will be ready sooner, not later. It’s possible they open the season Sept. 12 – the 2021 schedule will be released Wednesday at 8 p.m. – with Tevi at left tackle until Fisher gains medical clearance.
When he’s back, Fisher will represent the missing piece in one of the NFL’s top offensive lines. The four returnees: three-time first-team All-Pro left guard Quenton Nelson, Pro Bowl center Ryan Kelly, right guard Mark Glowinski and Braden Smith.
Fisher’s arrival in Indy has been long speculated. Ballard was director of player personnel in 2013 when the Chiefs used the 1st overall pick on Fisher and was with the franchise for the first four seasons of Fisher’s career.
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.