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How the Indianapolis Colts can build a contender after signing Anthony Castonzo

The Indianapolis Colts have officially brought back left tackle Anthony Castonzo on a two-year, $33 million deal, per Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network.

This move was expected. Owner Jim Irsay, general manager Chris Ballard, head coach Frank Reich and even Castonzo himself all said this was a move they wanted — and understandably so, given his dominance as a Colt. Castonzo has been one of the most durable and arguably the most underrated tackles in the league. He’s played 9,611 snaps during his nine-year career and has produced a PFF overall grade that was above average at his position in every single season since 2012, with three seasons in the top 10. In the same span, Castonzo has been the sixth-most valuable tackle in the entire NFL. Castonzo is actually coming off one of the best seasons of his career at 31 years old. His 84.4 pass-block grade was the second-highest he has ever recorded and ranked eighth among all offensive tackles. 

PFF has a massive database with virtually any filter one could possibly think of for every position in every facet of play. When it comes to offensive linemen evaluation, PFF's Eric Eager has proven that their ”true pass sets” are the most stable and predictive of future performance. True pass sets are as they sound — standard quarterback dropbacks (no rollouts, no play-action, no screens, no quick passes under 2.0 seconds).

In the case of Castonzo’s true pass sets, he’s remained in the upper echelon of tackles. Over the last two years, in his 30s mind you, Castonzo has produced a pass-block grade on true pass sets that ranks seventh among tackles, just behind guys like Ronnie Stanley, David Bakhtiari, Terron Armstead, Laremy Tunsil, et al. That’s pretty good company.

Castonzo hasn’t been nearly as good as a run-blocker, but he’s still been a heck of a lot better than his counterparts. He’s finished above the 50th percentile in run-block grade in all but two of his nine seasons, and over the last four seasons he's been among the 10 best run-blocking left tackles. 

This two-year extension makes Castonzo the highest-paid left tackle in the NFL and second-highest paid tackle overall. Indianapolis owned the second-most cap space before the signing and is still sitting in a great spot after the move with around $67 million available (seventh-most).

So, what else can Indianapolis do to build a contender?

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