Colts notebook: DE Denico Autry added in first move of free agency
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Indianapolis Colts’ initial step into the free-agent market addressed their defense.
The team has agreed to terms with former Oakland Raiders defensive end Denico Autry on a three-year, $17.8 million contract, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. Autry will receive approximately $7 million in the first year of his deal.
Autry, 27, represents an important acquisition as the Colts transition from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 under head coach Frank Reich and coordinator Matt Eberflus. Undrafted out of Mississippi State in 2014, the 6-5, 273-pounder appeared in 56 games with the Raiders, 18 as a starter.
Autry is coming off the best of his four seasons: 5 sacks, 36 tackles and 7 defended passes while appearing in all 16 games and starting three.
The Colts have scheduled a meeting this week with free-agent offensive lineman Ryan Jensen, according to a league source. Jensen spent his first four years in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens and started 25 games at center and both guard spots. In 2017, he was a 16-game starter at center.
The visit with the Colts is contingent upon Jensen not agreeing to a contract with Tampa Bay. He has a prior meeting with the Buccaneers, according to reports.
The team issued one-year tenders to four exclusive rights free agents: tight end Erik Swoope, long-snapper Luke Rhodes, cornerback Chris Milton and guard Jeremy Vujnovich.
Hitting the market
With the official start of the new league year at 4 p.m. Wednesday, the Colts’ roster includes exactly zero players from their 2013-14 drafts. The last two holdovers from ’14 were wideout Donte Moncrief and guard Jack Mewhort. Moncrief agreed to a one-year, $7 million contract with Jacksonville while Mewhort’s contract expired.
Other notable players whose contracts expired include running back Frank Gore, cornerback Rashaan Melvin, safety Darius Butler, wideout Kamar Aiken and linebackers Jon Bostic and Barkevious Mingo.
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.