Sunday, March 17, 2013
Irsay stirs up speculation on WR for Colts
By Paul Kuharsky
Give Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay credit. He knows how to get fans of his team speculating, debating and anticipating.
With a couple of tweets on Saturday night, he’s set off a frenzy.
Some observers were quick to point out he’s got a propensity for overstatement. The last time he really hyped up a pending move, the Colts traded for cornerback Vontae Davis. He’s a good player, but based on Irsay’s Twitter feed, it sounded more like the Colts would be getting Deion Sanders in his prime. When the team recently signed 49ers backup defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois, Irsay's tweet about it included more than 20 exclamation marks.
The Colts need a third wide receiver to go with Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton, and their hope is that they find a player who ultimately can take the aging Wayne’s place as Andrew Luck’s No. 1 target.
The first name that jumps out is Victor Cruz, the New York Giants' restricted free-agent receiver and salsa dancer. Cruz had 86 catches for 1,092 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. Pittsburgh’s Emmanuel Sanders, who reportedly had a visit scheduled with New England, is also a restricted free agent.
Teams can sign restricted free agents to an offer sheet and have to give up draft-pick compensation if the original team doesn’t match it. Cruz is tendered at a first-round level and Sanders at a third-round level.
If the player is willing, his original team can work out a trade instead of seeing the offer sheet procedure play out.
But "workin on a deal" doesn't mean a trade for certain. General manager Ryan Grigson could be negotiating with a free agent. None of the unsigned receivers, however, appear deserving of the excitement level Irsay's suggesting.
The Colts already are without a second-round pick from the Davis trade. If they made a blockbuster trade, a team that's pledged to build through the draft could be left with little to work with early in the draft.