The free-agency period has been good one way or another for every NFL team. Hence, it’s time to take a look at the positives in our newest series for End Zone Score. Which newcomer to the club was the franchise’s best offseason move and why? We got things started with the 2016 last-place teams in the eight divisions. You can get caught up on the entire series by clicking right here. Now we are onto the clubs that finished third. And that means the Indianapolis Colts are in the spotlight.

OLB John Simon

First things first. The Indianapolis Colts’ front office is now under the command of Chris Ballard. Via Andrew Walker of, the franchise’s new general manager recently spoke on the MMQB Podcast, giving you a glimpse into the process.

In terms of this offseason, it’s pretty obvious what direction the well-traveled talent evaluator was leaning. The team added plenty of help for a defensive unit that has been simply woeful for far too long. The priority was linebacker. The Colts added inside performer Sean Spence and outside backers Jabaal Sheard, Barkevious Mingo and John Simon.

It’s the latter that could prove to be the biggest asset. A fourth-round draft choice of the Baltimore Ravens in 2013, he spent seven games with John Harbaugh’s club before making his way to the Houston Texans. In three seasons with the club, he totaled 12 starts and racked up 10 sacks. He proved to be a solid fill-in when Jadeveon Clowney was trying to get on the field. Combined with Sheard, the Indianapolis Colts should better that total of 33 sacks from 2016.

More importantly, look for Ballard to add to this veteran haul with some young performers via the draft – with the 26-year-old Simon the key.

Russell S. Baxter is the NFL lead columnist for and the founder of Follow him on Twitter at @BaxFootballGuru.

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