INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts started and finished Tuesday’s free agent binge by re-signing their own key players.
In between, they added defensive lineman Arthur Jones – and it may be just the start.
On a busy first day of free agency for the big-spending Colts, the emphasis was clear: They need to get better on defense.
He is a rare talent at 25 years of age who is still ascending as a player, general manager Ryan Grigson said in a statement announcing the deal with cornerback Vontae Davis.
The Colts focused on keeping their own players as free agency opened Tuesday, agreeing to a two-year deal with longtime kicker Adam Vinatieri, a four-year deal with Davis and re-signing running back Ahmad Bradshaw.
Last Thursday, the Colts signed former Browns linebacker D’Qwell Jackson to a four-year deal.
The next day, they re-signed punter Pat McAfee to a new five-year deal. On Monday, the Colts announced they had re-signed two more of their own free agents, defensive end Fili Moala and linebacker Justin Hickman.
Then came word of Vinatieri’s deal, which virtually assures the best clutch kicker in league history will remain the oldest player in the league in 2014 and 2015 and could make him a Colt for life. Vinatieri, 41, said other teams were interested though the Colts’ were his first choice.
Financial terms of the four deals were not immediately available.
Jones, a 6-foot-3, 315-pound defensive end, played his first two seasons in Baltimore when Colts coach Chuck Pagano was an assistant with the Ravens. Last season, Jones started a career high 13 games, finished with a career best 53 tackles and had four sacks.
Jones is expected to undergo a team physical today.
Bradshaw was off to a promising start last season after recovering from a foot injury, which led to his departure from the Giants. He rushed for 186 yards and two scores before injuring his neck in Week 3 against San Francisco in September. Bradshaw never returned from that injury and finished the season on injured reserve.
What’s next for a team that started the day roughly $36 million under the $133 million salary cap is anybody’s guess.
The Colts are still looking to solidify their offensive line, especially after releasing starting center Samson Satele late last week to save about $4 million.