Breaking: Colts closing in on deal to sign former $61 million All-Pro veteran free agent safety to shore up secondary

Breaking: Colts closing in on deal to sign former $61 million All-Pro veteran free agent safety to shore up secondary

The Colts are a well-rounded football club right now, but they might improve the back end of their thin secondary with an unsigned former NFL All-Pro veteran safety.

The Indianapolis Colts have a projected $25.9 million in salary cap room, but it’s unclear if they’ll use it to improve their secondary, especially at safety.

One unsigned key player, currently ranked as’s 37th best free agent, is former Denver Broncos veteran safety Justin Simmonswho was released earlier this offseason:

37. Justin Simmons

S · Age: 30

Thirty-year-old safeties won’t break the bank in this market, but Simmons is a surefire upgrade to many rosters. His leadership, experience and playmaking ability (he’s still got enough) should warrant a multi-year deal.

During his first eight professional seasons, the former 2016 third-round choice of the Denver Broncos was a four-time NFL second-team All-Pro, a two-time NFL Pro Bowler, and the NFL interceptions co-leader.

Simmons, 30, is coming off a season for the Broncos in which he recorded 70 tackles (53 solo), 2 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions, 8 passes defensed, a sack, and 2 forced fumbles across 15 starts in 2023.

According to PFF (subscription), Simmons was the 42nd top graded safety last season, with a +67.9 overall grade and a +77.6 run defense grade. Simmons was solid, but this was his lowest graded season since 2018 (when he had a +60.9 total rating).

That being said, the Colts have re-signed free agent starter Julian Blackmon and have questions about the other starting safety spot next to him, where the major internal possibilities are either Rodney Thomas II or Nick Cross.

Each rookie safety has shown some early promise, but has struggled with consistency on a weekly basis, including several missed covering assignments.

The Colts were previously dealt a blow at safety when Daniel Scott, who was running with the first-team defense in minicamp, suffered a season-ending ruptured Achilles.

Simmons could solidify the backend of the Colts secondary much like another former Denver Bronco veteran safety turned Colts did, i.e. Mike Adams back in 2014-16. As a veteran safety stopgap, Adams became a 2x NFL Pro Bowler for Indianapolis. The Colts also had success with Rodney McLeod as a veteran safety in a more recent season (2022).

Right now, Simmons would be a significant short-term upgrade at starting safety alongside Blackmon for a Colts team with serious playoff aspirations—including reclaiming the AFC South’s divisional crown

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