The Indianapolis Colts entered free agency with more cap space than any team in the league, and while they sat out the initial wave of massive signings on Monday afternoon, they finally made their first move Monday evening. According to several reports, the Colts will sign former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Devin Funchess to a one-year deal that can be worth up to $13 million.
The Colts entered the free agency period with over $100 million in cap space, so the money they’re giving Funchess is not necessarily all that big a deal — especially since it’s only for one year anyway. Instead, the priority here is the quality of player they’re getting. And on that front, it’s a mixed bag.
Funchess’ best season was in 2017, when he caught 63 passes for 840 yards and eight scores while working as Cam Newton’s No. 1 target. He also posted a career-best catch rate that year, but that rate was only 56.8 percent. Funchess has been one of the least efficient receivers in the NFL throughout his career, with his 6-4, 225-pound frame belying his ability to make contested catches in crowded areas.
He’s not going to be the No. 1 target for Luck with T.Y. Hilton still around, so maybe he is just being brought in to be this year’s version of Eric Ebron — a big-bodied player who can provide space for Luck to beat defenders over the top in and around the red zone. There are certainly worse ways to throw around your money when you’ve got more of it available than anybody else; but there are also better ways to do it. Hopefully, Chris Ballard and company have some sounder moves up their sleeves to fill out the rest of the roster.