After the Indianapolis Colts traded away veteran cornerback Stephon Gilmore, it opened an even bigger hole at the position for the front office to address this offseason.
Two of the projected starters in Isaiah Rodgers Sr. and Kenny Moore II are both in contract years. Meanwhile, Moore has been the subject of trade rumors because the Colts can save $8 million against the cap by moving him.
So while the cornerback position was already a need even with Gilmore on the roster, it became arguably the second-biggest need behind the quarterback position.
There aren’t many options to give the Colts quality starters, but there are a few who could intrigue the front office, including a familiar face. We also took a look at a few prospects the Colts could draft at the end of April.
Here are four free-agent cornerbacks the Colts could sign to replace Gilmore:
Rock Ya-Sin, 27
AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith
This would be the ideal signing. Ya-Sin could re-sign with the team that drafted him in the second round of the 2019 NFL draft and then traded him last offseason. He fits exactly the type of boundary cornerback who could thrive in Gus Bradley’s zone-heavy scheme. In 2022, Ya-Sin allowed a 58.5% completion rate and 82.5 passer rating in coverage, proving that he continues to get better with age.
Marcus Peters, 30
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If there’s one area Chris Ballard has found success in free agency, it’s finding veteran cornerbacks who can fill a starter’s void on the outside during a short-term contract. The likes of Rashaan Melvin, Pierre Desir, Xavier Rhodes and Stephon Gilmore are all examples of veterans who thrived when given the chance. Peters could be next on the list even if it’s just on a one-year deal. Coming off a torn ACL, he certainly didn’t play up to expectations in 2022. According to Pro Football Focus, he allowed a 71% completion rate on 62 targets and a 116.3 passer rating. But that falls in line with the narrative of mostly the previous veteran options who went on to find success with the Colts.
Shaquille Griffin, 27
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Griffin has shown flashes throughout his career since being selected in the third round of the 2017 NFL draft by the Seattle Seahawks, and it’s likely a return to Gus Bradley’s type of zone-heavy, Cover 3 scheme would benefit his career. Griffin signed a three-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars last offseason but suffered a back injury and missed the rest of the 2022 campaign after just six games. The team then released him in March. He wasn’t playing particularly well before the injury, but he’s a nice fit for the defense and could be a low-risk option with moderate upside.
Amani Oruwariye, 27
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The former fifth-round pick fits the size and athleticism mold that the Colts want for Gus Bradley’s defense. He’s coming off a pretty rough season in which he allowed a 75% completion rate, four touchdowns and a 130.6 passer rating on 52 targets, according to Pro Football Focus. However, the season before that, he allowed just a 60.2 passer rating on 69 targets in 2021. The Colts wouldn’t need him to be a star cornerback, but it’s possible he could improve with his eyes in the backfield while using his athleticism to make plays on the ball in a zone-heavy scheme.
Story originally appeared on Colts Wire