Colts Wide Receiver Predicted to Draw Interest in Free Agency

Jeff Saturday

Getty Interim head coach Jeff Saturday could see one of the Indianapolis Colts playmakers leave in free agency.

The Indianapolis Colts are expected to be among the leaders in salary cap space heading into the 2023 season. But there are several starters on the current roster that the team could lose in free agency.

Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue is the biggest “name” set to be a free agent for the Colts this offseason. Defensive backs Brandon Facyson and Rodney McLeod, both of whom have become key members of the Indianapolis secondary this season, will also be unrestricted free agents in March.

But wide receiver Parris Campbell was the only Colts player to make the sneaky-good 2023 NFL free agents list from Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox.

“Campbell has been healthy this season and has emerged as a viable No. 2 receiver opposite Michael Pittman Jr,” Knox wrote. “The 25-year-old has caught 44 passes for 440 yards and three touchdowns while providing a passer rating of 96.5 when targeted.”

Campbell a Viable Complement in Colts Offense

The 25-year-old’s 44 receptions for 440 yards and 3 scores are not only all career highs but is more production than what he amassed in his first three seasons combined.

Campbell never played in more than seven games during a season before 2022 because of injuries. He finished each of his first three seasons on injured reserve. In 2019 and 2021, Campbell broke a foot, and in 2020, he suffered a knee injury.

Those ailments led to the former No. 2 receiver to be considered a big disappointment.

But after a slow start to 2022, Campbell is finally living up to his potential. Campbell is averaging 5.5 catches and 54.7 receiving yards in his last six games.

Campbell Building Connection With Matt Ryan

Campbell had only 11 receptions for 112 yards in the first five games of the season. But he broke out with 7 catches for 57 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets in Week 6 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Colts No. 2 receiver followed that up with 10 receptions for 70 yards and another touchdown the following week against the Tennessee Titans.

Campbell didn’t maintain that production after the quarterback change to Sam Ehlinger, but upon Ryan returning behind center in Week 10, Campbell started producing again.

In Ryan’s last four starts, Campbell is averaging more than 7 catches and 67 receiving yards per game. He also has three touchdowns in those four contests.

Four games is still a small sample. But if Campbell can finish the season without a major injury and continue producing with his connection with Ryan, Knox predicts it may then become hard for the Colts to re-sign the 25-year-old wideout.

“Campbell probably won’t crack the coveted 1,000-yard mark in Indianapolis’ 17th-ranked passing attack,” Knox wrote. “But his production and reliability will draw interest on the open market.”

Campbell is on pace to record 68 receptions and 680 receiving yards this season. There wasn’t a receiver with comparable numbers across the board in the 2022 free agency class, but Marquez Valdes-Scantling averaged roughly the same yards per game in 2021 as Campbell has this season.

In free agency, Valdes-Scantling signed a 3-year, $30 million contract with the Kansas City Chiefs.

The big difference between Campbell and Valdes-Scantling is the big plays. Valdes-Scantling averaged 16.5 yards per reception in his final season before free agency. Campbell has posted 10.0 yards per catch this season.

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