Indianapolis Colts: Eric Decker

INDIANAPOLIS -- One by one, the options at receiver are starting to get smaller for the Indianapolis Colts.

Golden Tate, Jacoby Jones and Eric Decker (good luck catching passes from Geno Smith or Mark Sanchez) are the off the market now, signing with Detroit, Baltimore and the New York Jets, respectively.

The Colts have yet to address their issues at receiver. They had depth problems there at the start of last season. They had it when Reggie Wayne went down with a torn ACL in Week 7. And they still have depth concerns.

Free agency is only in Day 3, so there’s no need to panic, but the Colts can’t get through the offseason without adding a veteran receiver. The receiver position is deep in this year’s draft, but waiting until then to address it would be a risky move by Indianapolis. Part of the reason behind the concern at receiver is because of the uncertainty of what kind of player Wayne will be once he returns.

Good thing for the Colts the market hasn't dried up for receivers.

Former New York Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks should be at the top of the Colts’ list. The issue could be that Nicks wants a multiyear deal. A one-year contract would be more ideal as some have alluded to because it could be a win-win situation for Nicks and the Colts. It’ll allow Nicks to prove it was injuries that slowed him down the past two seasons and not simply lack of production. The Colts get another option for quarterback Andrew Luck to throw to for at least a year.

Steve Smith's days in Carolina are reportedly numbered. Former Green Bay wideout James Jones and Julian Edelman remain available for the moment.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Cornerback? Check

Defensive lineman? Another check.

Kicker? Check, too.

Added depth at running back? A surprising check.

Receiver, guard and center? It's time to stop there.

You can't take care of everything in one day.

The Indianapolis Colts took care of pressing needs on defense by signing defensive lineman Arthur Jones and cornerback Vontae Davis to go with the ageless kicker Adam Vinatieri and running back Ahmad Bradshaw.

Now it's time for the Colts to continue their free-agent pursuit for a safety after Antoine Bethea bolted for San Francisco, a starting center and a receiver.

There was a lot of wheeling and dealing being done on the first day of free agency Tuesday. A lot of safeties were taken off the market, too, leaving the Colts with limited options to choose from at that position.

I checked out Bill Polian's free-agent tracker to see who are the top remaining free agents at safety, center and receiver.

Chris Clemons, Miami
Reed Doughty, Washington
Mike Adams, Denver
Nate Allen, Philadelphia

Evan Dietrich-Smith, Green Bay
Jonathan Goodwin, San Francisco
Brian De La Puente, New Orleans
Mike Gibson, Arizona
Ted Larsen, Tampa Bay

Golden Tate, Seattle
Eric Decker, Denver
Julian Edelman, New England
Santonio Holmes, New York Jets
Jacoby Jones, Baltimore
Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants
James Jones, Green Bay

Free-agency primer: Colts

March, 7, 2014
Mar 7
» AFC Free-Agency Primer: East | West | North | South » NFC: East | West | North | South

Key free agents: CB Vontae Davis, S Antoine Bethea, K Adam Vinatieri, RB Donald Brown

Where they stand: The Colts have the fourth-most salary-cap space ($41 million) in the league. They solved one of their issues when they signed inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson on Thursday to start alongside Jerrell Freeman, Erik Walden and Robert Mathis. Davis is the most important player to re-sign with having to acquire a new starting center next in line after Samson Satele was released on March 6. The Colts re-signed punter Pat McAfee to a five-year deal Friday. The 41-year-old Vinatieri believes he can kick for several more seasons. Expect the Colts to look to add depth at receiver to give quarterback Andrew Luck another target to go with receivers T.Y. Hilton and Reggie Wayne and tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen.

What to expect: The Colts should be able to work out a deal with Davis, who was inconsistent last season but has the talent to be one of the top cornerbacks in the league. Don't expect the Colts to go with a rookie or second-year player as their starting center. The position is too valuable for them to go that direction with their franchise player, Luck, taking the snaps. New Orleans' Brian De La Puente and Green Bay's Evan Dietrich-Smith are both free agents. Denver receiver Eric Decker is an ideal receiver to go with Hilton and Wayne. The Colts and Decker have mutual interest, but he may be out of their price range if he wants to be paid like a No. 1 receiver. Hakeem Nicks and James Jones are also free agents the Colts could pursue. Acquiring a veteran guard is a better option than drafting one, because Indianapolis has the talent to take another step in the AFC next season. Decker's teammate in Denver, guard Zane Beadles, is a free agent.
INDIANAPOLIS -- The start of the free agency is less than two weeks away. Receiver is one of the positions that the Indianapolis Colts need to address through free agency, trade or the draft.

It’s about the present and the future for them at that position.

Depth was an issue for the Colts at the start of last season. It was a bigger issue when Reggie Wayne crumbled to the ground with a torn ACL against Denver in Week 7 and it remained an issue when the season ended last month.

The Colts can't get away with not adding any players at receiver. All indications point to Wayne returning from his knee injury, but you have to be realistic, too. Nobody knows what type of player he’ll be when he returns because he’s 35 years old. That leaves T.Y. Hilton and young receivers like Da'Rick Rogers, LaVon Brazill and Griff Whalen.

This takes us to the free-agent market. There was a report Wednesday that the Colts have interest in Denver receiver Eric Decker.

Decker is looking for a big payday like all free agents do. He told SiriusXM NFL Radio in an interview earlier this month that he needs to do what is the “best for my family.”

The Colts will have money to spend – the fourth-most salary cap space – but they’re going to be frugal spenders with all their money. That's bascially what general manager Ryan Grigson said last week at the combine.

Decker caught 87 passes for 1,288 yards and 11 touchdowns last season.

My issue with Decker is that you can't pay him like he’s a No. 1 receiver because he’s not a No. 1 receiver. He's more of a solid No. 2 receiver. He put up those nice numbers while not having to face the other team's best cornerback. Things could be different if Decker's asking price isn’t too much.

And if that’s the case, why leave Peyton Manning and Denver when you have a chance to make at least one more run at winning the Super Bowl?

Here's a look at some 2013 stats of some notable wideouts who are set to hit the free-agent market: