NFL free agency predictions: Where will Dontari Poe, Jamaal Charles land?
By Matt Conner
Many NFL teams weren’t sure whether or not Jamaal Charles would even be available, but his release from the Chiefs adds an intriguing and potentially game-changing option for offenses. The only question is whether or not Charles can get healthy.
Charles joins Adrian Peterson as veteran options worth serious consideration along with a loaded NFL draft class. While other veteran backs will find themselves frustrated by the influx of youth, Charles and Peterson are both special enough cases to find meaningful work in spite of the competition.
Prediction: Indianapolis Colts
Doug Pederson is already creating some smoke for the Philadelphia Eagles when it comes to signing Jamaal Charles, but the former Chiefs offensive coordinator is not the man signing players in Philly, which means I’m tilting the scales toward the Midwest where the Indianapolis Colts new general manager Chris Ballard should be very familiar with the sort of talent Charles brings to the table.
The Colts have several issues to address, including running back, and the signing of Charles wouldn’t necessarily alleviate the concern at the position long-term. But it would allow the team to create a dynamic 1-2 veteran tandem with Frank Gore (who is defying age with his incredible ironman stamina) that could be as productive as any backfield in the NFL. Given the pair’s age and injury history, it also wouldn’t stop Ballard from adding a younger player, but he could afford to wait until Day 3 to even consider it.
Even more importantly, for Charles, the ability to play with an offense as loaded as the Colts could feature next season would have to be enticing. With Andrew Luck at the helm, talented pass catchers like Dwayne Allen, T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief and Phillip Dorsett, Charles could find plenty of open space ahead of him. Offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski is also very well-respected around the NFL, which should further help convince Charles to sign.