Eric Fisher makes even more sense for Indianapolis Colts after 2021 NFL Draft

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - SEPTEMBER 28: Eric Fisher #72 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on September 28, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - SEPTEMBER 28: Eric Fisher #72 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on September 28, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Coming into this offseason, the Indianapolis Colts came into the offseason with a void to fill at left tackle. (Stop me if this sounds familiar.) With the retirement of longtime bookend Anthony Castonzo after 10 solid seasons on the left side, the Colts faced a significant hole outside to fill with free agency and the NFL Draft ahead of them. So far, they’ve used neither one to adequately address the need.

Perhaps we’re buying low on the likes of Sam Tevi and/or Julie’n Davenport, but the Colts have allowed the bulk of free agency and the entirely of the 2021 NFL Draft to come and go without making much of an investment at all at the position. For Colts fans, the position is a frustrating one knowing that the loss of Castonzo still looms large for an offense that needs to keep Carson Wentz upright in his first season under center. The in-house options, at this point, have to feel rather uninspired.

All of this leads us to ask the question: do the Colts have some unofficial options waiting for them just yet? And could that option be former K.C. Chiefs left tackle Eric Fisher?

Remember this: the offseason is very long, and in the end, it doesn’t matter if the Colts find their answer in April or August. However, at some point, the team has to figure out a starting five and they’re also competing with other teams for viable candidates on the market. That leads us to wonder whether Fisher could be the eventual starter there, sooner or later.

The Colts lack of action at left tackle makes the Eric Fisher connection even stronger.

Fisher was recently entrenched as the longtime left tackle for the Chiefs until the AFC Championship game at Arrowhead Stadium in January. It was then, against the Buffalo Bills, that Fisher went down with an unfortunate Achilles injury. Just like that, the Chiefs last remaining pillar along the line was lost for the year and a decimated offensive front limped into the Super Bowl. From there, the Bucs feasted on the team’s anemic offering up front and the Chiefs lost the biggest game of the year by a final of 31-9.

As for Fisher, he faced a long recovery and rehabilitation in the offseason ahead, but what few people saw coming was the outright release of both Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz in what has become a complete overhaul of the Chiefs offensive line. While questions lingered as to whether or not the Chiefs would eventually re-sign Fisher, the recent trade for Orlando Brown, Jr. officially closed that door. Suddenly the Chiefs-related chapter of Fisher’s pro career was over after eight seasons.

At this point, Fisher is still working his way back from the injury, so no team is likely going to sign him soon knowing that there are still medical hurdles to overcome. That means that Fisher isn’t a rock solid option on whom a franchise can rely on entirely. However, by all accounts, Fisher is putting in the work and hasn’t officially retired. He was also given an original timeline for a return of training camp by the Chiefs. Right on time?

All of this is conjecture, but Fisher’s potential availability sounds like the sort of option that would lead a team to stick to their draft board regardless of positional need. After all, Fisher had grown into a very good left tackle over time, moving from the athletically gifted project who was taken first overall out of Central Michigan in 2013 into a two-time Pro Bowl performer (2018, 2020).

How else do you explain the fact that the Colts say they are comfortable with the likes of Tevi or Davenport? Is this not the same Sam Tevi who was such a poor option for the L.A. Chargers? Was Davenporn not a part of the pitiful Texans front line earlier in his career? As depth pieces, Tevi and Davenport hold value as experienced options who can spell a starter and provide security heading into a season. But for a playoff contender, it sounds like a PR spin on a position that still hasn’t been properly addressed.

Even in the draft. the Colts came and went without picking up much in the way of offensive line help. The Colts took a single lineman, Will Fries, with their last overall pick. The Penn State product has starting experience at tackle, but he’s a low-ceiling option who profiles well as a versatile backup hoping to make the active roster. Again, no one is buying it—or they shouldn’t.

As we said, the offseason is long which means the Colts could still strike a trade or sign a free agent. It’s also possible that some developmental talent takes a leap that no one saw coming. But at this point, the idea of a marriage between Fisher and the Colts makes a lot of sense if the former Chiefs tackle is healthy. Chris Ballard, the Colts general manager, is well-acquainted with Fisher having been a part of the Chiefs organization for years, and he’s used that knowledge in recent years to bring in other imports (a la Justin Houston).

Fisher was playing some of his best football when he went down and comes with Super Bowl experience. If he’s up for starting a new chapter of his professional career, the Colts would do well to keep tabs on his availability for the need up front. Then again, maybe they’ve already had this lined up all along.