Colts CB Bolts for Former Team After One Season in Indianapolis: Report

Chris Ballard

Getty General manager Chris Ballard and the Indianapolis Colts reportedly lost a cornerback in free agency on March 13.

The Indianapolis Colts are bringing back defensive coordinator Gus Bradley for the 2023 season. But cornerback Brandon Facyson will not be returning with him.

The Colts signed Facyson to a one-year deal last offseason after he played the first four years of his career in Bradley’s defense. But on March 14, NFL insider Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Facyson is returning to the Las Vegas Raiders.

Overall, Facyson was a disappointment in Indianapolis. He started only four games last season after making a career-high nine starts during 2021. Two of those starts came in the final two weeks when the Colts had already been eliminated from playoff contention.

In 16 appearances, Facyson posted 28 combined tackles and 6 pass defenses. He didn’t have an interception, sack or tackle for loss. Facyson played 455 defensive snaps, which ranked third on the team among cornerbacks.

Facyson Returning to Raiders

The 28-year-old cornerback will be looking to rebound with his former team. While playing for the Raiders in 2021, Facyson had a career year, posting 55 combined tackles, including 2 for loss, 13 pass defenses and 1 interception.

Prior to 2021, Facyson didn’t have a pick and only had 1 pass defense.

But the great 2021 campaign for Facyson now looks more like an aberration than a breakout year.

He played more than 30 snaps in each of Indianapolis’ first three games last season. In Week 2, he started against the Kansas City Chiefs.

But Facyson’s role decreased over the next several weeks. He didn’t play 30 snaps in a game again until Week 11 versus the Philadelphia Eagles.

Although he was inactive against the Minnesota Vikings during Week 15, Facyson played more in December after fellow cornerback Kenny Moore II suffered a season-ending injuryFacyson played a season-high 65 snaps in the season finale.

Colts Needs in the Secondary

It’s too bad Facyson didn’t play better for the Colts, but Indianapolis is sitting in a good position with its cornerbacks at the beginning of NFL free agency.

The team’s other top cornerbacks from 2022 — Stephon Gilmore, Kenny Moore II and Isaiah Rodgers — are all under contract for 2023.

Gilmore played the best of those three cornerbacks last season. He lined up for 1,063 defensive snaps last season, which was second most on the team.

But if general manager Chris Ballard is already taking a peak at 2024, none of those three top cornerbacks are under contract beyond next season.

So while the Colts have other more immediate needs, it would not be surprising to see Ballard add a cornerback in free agency if it’s on a multi-year contract.

It will be particularly interesting to see what happens to Moore this year. He performed a holdout of sorts last offseason, demanding a new contract. But Moore returned for training camp and didn’t miss any games because of his contract dispute.

While Moore arguably deserved a raise after his play in 2021, he struggled during 2022 and finished the season on injured reserve because of an ankle injury.

Gilmore is still an elite player, but he will turn 33 in September. So even if it’s not this offseason, change to Indianapolis’ cornerbacks could be coming soon.

One thing is clear, though — the future Colts secondary will not involve Facyson.

Read More