If he was supposed to play like he’s old, someone must’ve not told Colts’ defensive end Cory Redding, age 33. The 12-year veteran has been a revelation since signing with the Colts in March of 2012 in the final year of what has been a 3-year, $10.5M bargain of a contract. In his 3 seasons as Colt, Redding has consistently been one of the team’s best defensive players and most consistent performers.
Coming over as an unheralded free agent of the Baltimore Ravens’ defense in 2012, his teammates and opposing offensive lineman have nevertheless always felt Redding’s unmistakable impact. He may not make the headlines, but he’ll simply make the plays as a veteran leader of a football team.
Perhaps, that is why then freshly named Colts’ head coach Chuck Pagano made him one of the team’s top priorities to sign to help anchor Indy’s brand new 3-4 defensive scheme in 2012. He knew from serving as the Ravens’ former defensive coordinator, how valuable his ex-player truly was.
While Redding bounced around a bit earlier in his career, including previous stints with the Detroit Lions and Seattle Seahawks, he’s found a real home in Indianapolis, where’s he’s been pretty irreplaceable.
Now, even two years later, Redding is having arguably his best season in the NFL, as he has been an absolute menace in opposing team’s backfields. While the numbers won’t necessarily wow you, his impact certainly will. The advanced statistics provided by ProFootballFocus (PFF) rank Redding as the 9th best 3-4 DE in the entire NFL.
It’s not just his performance that is indispensable either, because as mentioned, Redding is one of the genuine leaders of this football team. He may not be the highest paid, but it’s Redding that is consistently the player leading the pre-game huddle. It’s Redding that younger players are often turning to for advice. It’s Redding that is consistently playing at a high level, week-in and week-out, always bringing his best effort.