It’s rare for a recognizable name to sign as a free agent after the draft, but Spencer Ware has landed with the Indianapolis Colts.
The Indianapolis Colts did not add a running back in the balance of meaningful free agency, and they did not draft one last week. But on Tuesday, they announced the signing of Spencer Ware to a one-year deal.
Ware’s best season for the Kansas City came in 2016, when he started 14 games and ran for 921 yards. He then missed the entire 2017 season with a knee injury, and fell back into a bit role last year (51 carries in 13 games) before a hamstring injury sidelined him in December. In his final two regular season games for the Chiefs last season, Ware had 29 carries for 122 yards (4.2 yards per carry).
Ware had visits with the New York Jets and Detroit Lions as well as the Colts, and has now circled back to Indianapolis.
According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, Ware is getting a one-year, $1.3 million deal with $700,000 more possible with incentives.
Via the same tweet where he reported the signing, Pelissero sees an opportunity for Ware in Indianapolis and sights his relative youth.
The Locked On Colts Podcast likes what Ware brings to the table.
Anthony Cervino of Gridiron Experts shows how Ware fits into the Colts’ depth chart.
Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star points to the Colts not drafting a running back as part of a plan to sign a veteran free agent on the back end.
The Colts Wire gives us five things to know about Ware.
The Colts had the 20th-ranked rushing attack in the league last year (107.4 yards per game), with Marlon Mack (908 yards, nine touchdowns) leading the way and Nyheim Hines (63 receptions) and Jordan Wilkins (5.6 yards per carry) behind him.
Ware should most easily push Wilkins down the depth chart, and be a more traditional backup to Mack while Hines maintains a prominent passing game role. That said, it feels like Ware isn’t promised much more than a chance to earn a spot on the Colts’ 53-man roster.