Head coach Frank Reich said at this week's owner's meetings that he pushed for the Colts to sign Funchess this offseason, Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star reports. "I'm so excited about Devin. I mean, when I watch his tape, what I see is a big man who is really athletic. I like to talk about having route-running skill -- this combination of having good feet, good instincts and good body control, and then what sometimes we refer to as body quickness ... it helps you separate at the top of routes, it helps you get off versus press coverage. And Devin has all of that," Reich explained. Funchess came to Indianapolis on a one-year, $10 million contract this offseason after a year in which he finished as Pro Football Focus' 73rd-ranked receiver. However, the 6-foot-4 receiver's grade was in part dragged down by his poor performance on deep routes, which is something he may not be asked to do often on a Colts team that has one of the best lid-lifters in the league in T.Y. Hilton. With that said, his best work comes when he's used as more of a possession receiver and goal-line target, and he'll have to compete with for end-zone looks within an offense that loves to use its tight ends. It's also possible that Indianapolis uses an early-round draft pick on a receiver this spring to join a receiving corps that otherwise includes Hilton, Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron.
The Colts are expected to sign Funchess to a one-year contract, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com reports. According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, the deal is worth $13 million. Indianapolis entered the offseason with the most available cap space, but such an amount seems like an overpay for a wide receiver that never tallied more than 900 yards in any of his four pro campaigns. Nonetheless, his new employer doesn't have much receiving talent beyond T.Y. Hilton (ankle) and Eric Ebron, so there should be plenty of volume left over for Funchess from Andrew Luck.
The Panthers have not expressed a desire to bring Funchess back in 2019, David Newton of ESPN.com reports. Head coach Ron Rivera indicated Carolina was "moving forward" when the team decided to sit Funchess for the regular-season finale last month. Now scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in March, Funchess appears to have played his last snaps for the Panthers. The tall-but-slow wideout (Funchess owns a 4.70-second time in the 40-yard dash) wasn't the best fit in an offense that prioritizes yards after the catch anyway, so this development could be mutually beneficial.
Funchess (coach's decision) is inactive for Sunday's game against the Saints, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Charlotte Observer reports. Funchess's snap and target counts have been trending down for the last month, but it's still somewhat surprising that he's a health scratch for the season finale. It almost certainly spells an end to his stint in Carolina, as Funchess will become a free agent in March and is unlikely to be retained after youngsters D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel passed him up on the depth chart at receiver this season.
Funchess caught two of four targets for 23 yards during Sunday's 24-10 loss to the Falcons. Funchess was an afterthought in the passing game, finishing sixth on the team in targets and fifth in receiving yardage. Oddly enough this was actually a step up for Funchess, who hadn't caught a pass since Week 13 and has just one grab over his last three games. Funchess's fantasy value has clearly waned as the season has gone along and he'll try to finish on a positive note next Sunday against the Saints.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/08||@Los Angeles Chargers||7||18.44|
|5||10/07||@Kansas City Chiefs||21||22.67|
|14||12/08||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||28||25.00|
|15||12/17||@New Orleans Saints||31||26.67|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||83||43||587||5||32||13.65||88|