NFL free agency is off and running, and we're keeping track of every major signing, trade and release of the 2020 offseason, with analysis from our NFL Nation reporters and grades from Bill Barnwell. The new league year begins March 18 at 4 p.m. ET, which means free-agent signings can be made official after that. The first round of the 2020 NFL draft begins April 23.
Here's a breakdown of every 2020 NFL free-agent signing by the Indianapolis Colts, and how each will impact the upcoming season:
Philip Rivers, QB
The Colts signed the former Los Angeles Chargers QB to a one-year, $25 million deal.
What it means: Rivers replaces Jacoby Brissett as the starter next season after Brissett struggled with his accuracy. The Colts are hoping that the 38-year-old Rivers has enough left to lead them back to the playoffs after missing the postseason four of the past five seasons. Rivers joins a Colts team that returns not only one of the top offensive lines, but the only unit that started all 16 games last season. He’ll also be helped by an offense that finished seventh in the league in rushing last season. Rivers is also familiar with Colts coach Frank Reich. Reich was Rivers’ quarterbacks coach for a season, then his offensive coordinator for two seasons with the Chargers.
What's the risk: Rivers is 38 and doesn't have the same arm strength that he once had. Even though it's only a one-year deal, the move could still blow up on Colts general manager Chris Ballard. Ballard has shied away from signing free agents who are no longer in their prime or have yet to reach their potential in the past. Rivers' 20 interceptions were the third most in the NFL last season.
Anthony Castonzo, offensive tackle
What it means: The Colts would have had to reorganize their offseason priorities if Castonzo had decided to retire, which was a possibility at the end of last season. Castonzo's return means GM Chris Ballard doesn't have to find a starting left tackle next season or in 2021 because Castonzo, who has started all 132 games he has appeared in since the Colts selected him in the first round of the 2011 draft, plans to play out the length of his contract. The Colts will return the same offensive line that started all 16 games last season, barring any injuries. That group helped the Colts finish seventh in the NFL in rushing while giving up 32 sacks.
What's the risk: Very little outside of the fact that he'll be 32 years old next season. Despite never being named to a Pro Bowl, Castonzo has been nothing but consistent throughout his career. He has missed only 12 games.
Sheldon Day, defensive tackle
What it means: The Colts continue to put a focus on beefing up their defensive line. Colts general manager Chris Ballard has said that he wants to dominate the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Day, who is from Indianapolis, spent the past three seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. The Colts acquired Day's teammate in San Francisco, defensive lineman DeForest Buckner, in a trade with the 49ers on March 16. Day has 53 tackles and six sacks in his four-year career.
What's the risk: Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus is a believer in having depth on the defensive line. He likes to rotate players in throughout the game so they'll have fresher legs in the fourth quarter. Day joins a defensive line that also features Buckner, Justin Houston, Denico Autry, Kemoko Turay, Grover Stewart, Al-Quadin Muhammad, Tyquan Lewis, Ben Banogu and Gerri Green.
Xavier Rhodes, cornerback
What it means: The Colts signed Rhodes less than a week after releasing veteran cornerback Pierre Desir. Rhodes will add experience to a youthful cornerback group that features Kenny Moore, Rock Ya-Sin, Marvell Tell and Quincy Wilson. Before Rhodes was signed, Wilson and Moore were the most experienced of the group, as they're headed into their fourth NFL season. Rhodes has started every game he's played in in the past six seasons. He has 10 interceptions in his career.
What's the risk: This isn't a major risk by the Colts because they basically gave him a prove-it contract by giving him just a one-year deal. Rhodes didn't have an interception in 2019 for the first time since his rookie season in 2013.