A breakdown of the Indianapolis Colts' 2019 free-agent signings.
Devin Funchess, WR
The Colts agreed to one-year deal worth up to $13 million with receiver Devin Funchess on Monday, according to reporting by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. Here’s a closer look at the receiver who spent the previous four seasons with the Carolina Panthers:
What it means: The Colts made it no secret that they needed to find T.Y. Hilton some help at receiver. “We just don’t want people rolling the coverage to T.Y.,” coach Frank Reich said. “Having somebody to complement him, who can make big plays down the field, I think, would help.” Funchess, who only missed three games and had 21 touchdown receptions during his four seasons with the Panthers, will get his shot at being the No. 2 receiver in Indianapolis. He also will give quarterback Andrew Luck another big target in the red zone. Tight end Eric Ebron was Luck’s primary red zone target last season.
What's the risk? This is more like a prove-it deal for Funchess, because it’s only for one year. Colts general manager Chris Ballard’s preference during free agency has been to acquire players who are still young and haven’t fully tapped their potential. It worked with Ebron last season, and the Colts hope the same will happen with Funchess in 2019.
Pierre Desir, Cornerback
The Indianapolis Colts agreed to a contract extension with cornerback Pierre Desir on a three-year, $25 million contract that includes $12 million guaranteed . Here’s a closer look at the receiver who spent the previous two seasons with the Colts:
What it means: The Colts, who finished a surprising 11th in total defense last season, will have their top three cornerbacks back in Desir, Kenny Moore and Quincy Wilson next season. Desir went from having the Colts claim him off waivers in 2017 to being their top cornerback last season. He started just seven games through his first three seasons in the NFL with the Browns and Chargers. After having his 2017 season cut short because of a shoulder injury, Desir cemented himself as the team’s top cornerback with two impressive performances against Houston receiver DeAndre Hopkins (nine catches for 73 yards) in the final regular-season game and in the playoff game between the two teams.
What’s the risk: This was an easy decision because Ballard has put a premium on keeping the Colts' own players instead of going out and chasing free agents on the open market.