For the Colts’ Polian, that means drafting well, developing players within his team’s system, and not seeking much outside help. Polian might be old-school, but he is hardly old-fashioned. He remains fairly solid in molding his team with homegrown talent. The Colts have maintained a standard of excellence for a decade by retaining their own best players.
Consider the Colts’ 53-man roster for their victory over the New York Jets in the AFC Championship Game. According to ESPN Stats & Information, 39 Colts on the roster had never played for or been signed by another NFL team. The Colts’ roster included 29 draft choices (six of them first-rounders) and 10 players who were signed originally by Indianapolis as undrafted free agents out of college.
Ten players were added as “street” free agents, whose NFL careers included stints with other teams. Three came in via waivers. Just one — injured kicker Adam Vinatieri — was signed as an unrestricted free agent. His replacement, Matt Stover, was technically a “street” free agent who went unsigned during the unrestricted period.
Not a single player on the roster was brought to Indianapolis via trade.
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