The Indianapolis Colts could use some help along their offensive line. CBS Sports’ Jordan Dajani says significant help for the Colts offensive line could come in NFL free agency.
Dajani identified Indianapolis as one of the best three landing spots for offensive guard Isaac Seumalo, who Dajani listed as the top interior offensive lineman set to be available in free agency.
“Seumalo is one of the best guards available in this free agency class, and one reason why is that he has experience playing on both the left and right sides,” wrote Dajani.
“The Indianapolis Colts just hired former Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, and he could bring Seumalo in to play right guard. That’s a position Indy has struggled to lock down.”
Offensive linemen Will Fries, Danny Pinter, Matt Pryor and Braden Smith all made at least one start at right guard for the Colts during the 2022 season.
How Isaac Seumalo Fits With the Colts
Seumalo has experience starting at both left and right guard. The 2022 season was Seumalo’s first full year starting at right guard.
He excelled according to the player grades at Pro Football Focus. Among guards who played at least 80% of their team’s offensive snaps in 2022, Seumalo finished with the fifth-best grade. He was particularly dominate in pass blocking.
Seumalo helped the Eagles finish first overall in pass protection according to PFF. The Eagles offensive line was also PFF’s third-ranked unit in run blocking.
The 29-year-old has made 60 NFL starts in seven seasons, all with the Eagles. He arrived in Philadelphia as a third-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Seumalo made two starts while primarily playing on special teams when the Eagles won the Super Bowl during the 2017 season.
Of Seumalo’s 60 career starts, 45 of them have come over the last four seasons. He missed 7 games in 2020 because of a knee injury. A Lisfranc injury then knocked him out for 14 contests during 2021.
The Colts started Pinter the first three games of 2022 at right guard, but switched to Fries in Week 4. With the team’s offensive line still struggling, the Colts made drastic changes to the unit heading into Week 5, sliding Smith, who has been the team’s long-time starting right tackle, inside to right guard. Pryor switched from left to right tackle, and the Colts inserted rookie Bernhard Raimann at left tackle.
After another rough outing, though, Smith and Pryor switched positions in Week 6. But the Colts benched Pryor at right guard in Week 9.
Under interim head coach Jeff Saturday, Fries started the final eight games at right guard.
Other than left tackle, right guard is the most obvious need this offseason for the Colts along the offensive line.
Isaac Seumalo’s Market Value
To sign Seumalo, the Colts will have to be willing to pay a fourth offensive lineman an average annual salary of more than $10 million.
Spotrac predicted Seumalo to be worth $24.25 million on a two-year contract. That would pay him an average annual salary of $12.1 million per season.
PFF had a similar estimate for the veteran guard’s market value. PFF projected Seumalo to sign a three-year deal worth $33 million with $22 million guaranteed. That contract would give the guard an average annual salary of $11 million.
The Colts have the cap space to make that kind of offer. As of March 2, they are just about $12 million under the cap, but the team could make several roster cuts, including quarterback Matt Ryan, who alone will open up more than $17 million in cap space.
But the biggest question is whether the Colts want an additional $10 million of cap space going to another offensive linemen. Smith, center Ryan Kelly and left guard Quenton Nelson already combine to account for more than $43.5 million, which is nearly 19% of the team’s salary cap.
Signing Seumalo could go a long way to fixing the Indianapolis offensive line. But it would also mean the Colts dedicating about a quarter of their cap space on starting offensive linemen.