Indianapolis adds CB Davis in trade with Miami

Indianapolis’ bruised defense finally got some help Sunday.

Four days after team owner Jim Irsay ignited speculation about a

possible trade with a series of Twitter posts, the Colts acquired

former first-round draft pick Vontae Davis to solidify their

secondary.

Miami will get Indy’s second-round pick and a conditional,

undisclosed late-round pick in the 2013 draft – a steep price for a

veteran cornerback who recently lost his starting job, but one the

Colts found reasonable.

”I think if Vontae were coming out in the 2013 draft, there’s

no way he’d be there. A guy of this caliber and with this talent

level and skill set, he wouldn’t be there in the second (round),”

Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. ”You don’t find guys like this in

the second.”

The addition of Davis came hours after the Colts took another

big defensive hit when an MRI confirmed defensive tackle Brandon

McKinney injured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Pagano said McKinney would likely go on injured reserve soon,

ending his season.

McKinney, one of several ex-Ravens now in Indianapolis (No. 32

in AP Pro32), was signed as a free agent in April to add size and

depth to the defensive line. With his knowledge of the Ravens’

defensive system, Pagano and the new Colts coaches expected him to

help Indy make a smooth transition from their traditional 4-3

defensive front to Pagano’s preferred 3-4 hybrid.

It’s been that kind of preseason for the Colts, who have lost

two backup linebackers with season-ending knee injuries and will be

without starting inside linebacker Pat Angerer (fractured foot) for

several more weeks.

The Colts also played Saturday without new defensive end Cory

Redding (knee) or linebacker Robert Mathis (shoulder) and have now

lost the 345-pound McKinney in the middle of the defensive

line.

”Losing the couple of linebackers that we’ve lost and now

Brandon and the injuries that have kept some guys out for a couple

weeks here and there, it’s tough from a continuity standpoint,”

Pagano said.

”You’d love to have them all playing together just from a

communication standpoint and a trust standpoint and all those types

of things. So it’s been a challenge for Greg Manusky and our

defensive coaches. … It seems like every time we come out of a

preseason game or what not, we’re adding somebody new to the

mix.”

Davis is the newest addition and will fill a huge void.

Jerraud Powers has been a solid starter at one cornerback spot

each of the past three seasons and was expected to do the same

again this year.

But with no clear winner in the competition for the other spot,

new general manager Ryan Grigson began talking with the Dolphins

about Davis.

The No. 25 overall pick in the 2009 draft was a starter since

his rookie season, but his effort and conditioning were questioned

during this summer’s training camp and he lost his starting job to

newcomer Richard Marshall.

Sean Smith is the other cornerback for the Dolphins (No. 27 in

the AP Pro32), who have endured three consecutive losing seasons

and are rebuilding under first-year coach Joe Philbin. That made

Davis expendable, and the Colts approached Miami general manager

Jeff Ireland about a deal.

”My job is to try to establish a strong foundation of success,

and build on that moving forward,” Ireland said. ”We want to be a

good team not only this year but in coming years. This helps us

achieve that objective. We’re in a stronger position today to reach

our goal of building a team that will continue to perform at a high

level over a sustained period of time.”

Ireland said he agreed to the trade in part because he’s pleased

with the development of several youngsters in the secondary, the

biggest question mark regarding the Dolphins’ defense.

”I have a lot of confidence in our defensive backs,” he

said.

Apparently, Davis appreciates the chance to start over in the

Midwest, only a two to three-hour drive from his alma mater –

Illinois.

”Thank GOD for keeping me in the right direction!!!!!” he

wrote on Twitter.

In 44 career games with Miami, Davis had 148 career tackles and

nine interceptions.

In Indianapolis, he’ll get a chance to strengthen a revamped

secondary that managed to avoid another potentially devastating

blow when Powers motioned to the coaching staff that he needed to

come out during Washington’s second series.

Trainers diagnosed the injury as a sprained knee, and an MRI

confirmed the diagnosis Sunday.

Pagano said Powers would be listed as day to day with a ”mild”

sprain and that he probably would have returned to action had it

been a regular-season game.

By pairing Davis and Powers, the Colts now have two established

starters at cornerback and a bevy of youngsters vying for playing

time behind them.

That group includes Josh Gordy, D.J. Johnson and Cassius Vaughn

– all NFL veterans Indy has acquired in trades this year – and

Justin King, another NFL veteran who signed with Indy as a free

agent.

”Vontae brings a great skill set, a great cover man, he’s big,

he’s physical and he can run,” Pagano said. ”Just throwing him

into the mix, we feel we are getting an outstanding player that has

proven himself and played at a high level in the league, and

obviously will make us better moving forward.”

Pagano also said Sunday that undrafted rookie Griff Whalen, one

of Andrew Luck’s teammates at Stanford last season, would be out

indefinitely after fracturing his right foot Saturday. Whalen

missed the start of training camp with an injury to the same

foot.

AP Sports Writer Steven Wine in Miami also contributed to this

report.

Online: http://bigstory.ap.org/NFL-Pro32 and

http://twitter.com/AP-NFL