Kruger should be on the Colts’ radar
It’s been ten days since the Baltimore Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII, but the talent that made the 2012 World Champions, well, World Champions, might be moving to another city in 2013.
What cities, you ask? Indianapolis.
One of Baltimore’s available gems will be outside linebacker, and arguably the Ravens’ best player on defense, Paul Kruger. Kruger, a second round pick in 2009, is coming off his best year as a Raven and is entering the prime of his career.
If this wasn’t 2013, the Ravens top priority would be to re-sign Kruger, so they could have an elite pass rusher to compliment Terrell Suggs for years to come. But this isn’t an ordinary offseason for the Ravens. Such a move may not be possible for the champions, who have a Super Bowl MVP to re-sign and various other large cap situations to consider.
If Kruger doesn’t get the deal he wants, he’ll be an unrestricted free agent.
So, if I may make a recommendation to Mr. Kruger on a possible new employer, I’d like to encourage him to consider the Indianapolis Colts.
Why, Mr. Kruger? Well, let me explain.
It’s no secret that Chuck Pagano’s players love them some Chuck Pagano. Ed Reed. Ray Lewis. Terrell Suggs. You ask a Raven about Pagano, and they’ll have nothing but praise for the man.
Before Reggie Wayne re-signed with the Colts, Pagano, who coached Wayne at Miami University, made Wayne promise him that he’d give him a call before contacting any other team.
Needless to say, we all know how that turned out.
Pagano is a huge recruiting advantage, especially when he’s had experience with the player (Tom Zbikowski, Cory Redding etc.) I’m not sure how strong Kruger’s relationship with Pagano is, but as the Ravens former defensive coordinator, I think it’s safe to say that Kruger would certainly be interested in teaming back up with Pagano.
Kruger would get his big contract and Pagano would have his 26-year-old pass rusher of the future to pair with Robert Mathis.
With the acquisition of Kruger, the Colts would have less pressure to find big pieces to the front seven in the draft, while instead pushing their focus towards securing a No. 2 cornerback, and a speedy back to compliment the power of Vick Ballard.
The Colts’ defense was very mediocre in 2012, and that’s being nice about it. It sufficed and they made the playoffs, but for this team to take the next step, which is to be a perennial contender, they need a core of young, defensive talent to take some pressure off of Luck.
Pep Hamilton, the Colts new offensive coordinator, will certainly help with relieving some of that pressure with his West Coast style passing attack.
But to compete with teams like the Ravens, Broncos, Patriots and Texans in January, signing a defensive powerhouse like Kruger would be a huge first step.
With an NFL-leading $43 million in cap space, the Colts are in the free agency driver’s seat.
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