INDIANAPOLIS – The degrees of frustration and disappointment vary, but the suddenness of the end of a season is always jarring.
The 18-week regular-season routine – preparation, rehab, recovery, game day; rinse and repeat – is replaced by the reality of it being over. Just. Like. That.
After taking whatever time is needed to get over what just transpired – trust us, the 26-11 collapse at Jacksonville will take more time than normal – the Indianapolis Colts must regroup and move on.
Listen to Pro Bowl defensive end DeForest Buckner.
“The team we had and the resilience that we showed this season, it’s tough,’’ he said Monday. “But we do have a lot of pieces coming back – a lot of main pieces coming back – and obviously it’s going to be a different team.”
“But trusting in (Chris) Ballard and Frank (Reich) and the rest of the coaching staff that obviously we’ll find the pieces that we need to move forward and become a better football team and take that next step. I believe we’re going to make those moves this offseason.’’
There will be changes. There always are.
The two longest-tenured Colts – wideout T.Y. Hilton and tight end Jack Doyle – are considering retirement. Some free-agents-to-be will be retained. Many won’t.
Here’s a look at some areas of interest as the Colts head into an offseason that arrived too soon:
SIGNFICANT FREE AGENTS
(including games and starts in 2021)
- WR T.Y. Hilton (10/9)
- G Mark Glowinski (16/14)
- CB Xavier Rhodes (15/15)
- LT Eric Fisher (15/15)
- TE Mo Alie-Cox (17/7)
- WR Zach Pascal (16/13)
- DE Kemoko Turay (13/0)
- DL Tyquan Lewis (8/2)
- DE Al-Quadin Muhammad (17/17)
- LB Zaire Franklin (17/11)
- S George Odum (17/7)
- CB T.J. Carrie (11/1)
- PK Michael Badgley (13/0)
- G Chris Reed (14/6)
- OT Matt Pryor (17/6)
- DT Taylor Stallworth (16/1)
- WR Ashton Dulin (17/1)
- LB Matt Adams (17/0)
- S Andrew Sendejo (12/10)
- The Colts’ first-round pick – 16th overall – belongs to the Philadelphia Eagles as part of the trade for quarterback Carson Wentz.
- They sent their 5th-round pick to the Eagles for offensive tackle Matt Pryor.
- They hold their own selections in rounds 2-5 and 7, plus a second 7-rounder from the trade with the Eagles for Pryor.
- They’re expected to receive two compensatory selections.
(* made playoffs)
- Home: Tennessee*, Houston, Jacksonville, Kansas City*, Los Angeles Chargers, Philadelphia*, Washington, Pittsburgh*.
- Away: Tennessee*, Houston, Jacksonville, Las Vegas Raiders*, Denver, New York Giants, Dallas*, New England, Minnesota.
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.