INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts are bringing back a free agent who made arguably the most sense of any in-house FA to re-sign in 2021.
Given the position he plays and how he goes about his business, Al-Quadin Muhammad is a trustworthy and reliable defensive end that the Colts have enjoyed having in recent years.
That marriage will continue for (at least) another season, after Muhammad re-signed with the Colts on a 1-year deal reportedly worth $3.4 million.
It might sound odd to call a player who has started just 8 games in 3 seasons as an important guy to bring back but Muhammad falls into that category.
He is a player this staff loves.
From a work ethic and effort standpoint, there’s a reason why the 26-year-old Muhammad has carved out a far more consistent role than heralded draft picks Kemoko Turay and Ben Banogu.
Since the Colts claimed Muhammad at the end of preseason roster cuts in 2018, he has played in 47 of 48 games (8 starts) and been a dependable rotational defensive end.
Playing with a constant motor is always something Matt Eberflus is seeking out and Muhammad offers that.
Muhammad has brought some 3-down ability, too, which is something that young edge guys tend to struggle with early in careers.
In the last 2 seasons, Muhammad has had 5 sacks and 15 quarterback hits.
With Justin Houston (who is 7 years older than Muhammad) still a free agent and Denico Autry (who is 4 years older than Muhammad) now with the Titans, the Colts needed more bodies up front, to go along with the addition of Isaac Rochell, who offers more of an interior option than Muhammad.
At this point, Turay and Banogu cannot be relied on to play all three downs.
Depending on what happens at defensive end the rest of this offseason, Muhammad could enter 2021 as a favorite to start.
Yes, the Colts still need to go after a more high-end edge rushing talent. Muhammad isn’t a No. 1 edge rusher.
But this position group was still in need of some younger reliability. While Muhammad might not give that at an elite level, he does for a position group always rotating guys in throughout a game.