According to Over The Cap, the Indianapolis Colts recently had the NFL’s most expensive defense, having spent $77.3M on this past season’s defensive unit.
Specifically attributing to this high figure was their linebackers accounting for $36M of that total number, which was also the most in the league respectively.
Despite investing such a large amount of funds into their defense, the Colts had little success to show for it. The defense ranked 26th in allowed average points per game at 25.5 avg. ppg and 26th in total average allowed yards per game at 379.1 avg. ypg.
Of course, it really only confirms that the Colts desperately need an infusion of young, affordable talent on that side of the football.
That way, the team no longer has to continue to overpay for veteran free agent players and experience diminishing returns from aging players whose best football is already behind them.
Entering last season, the Colts were not only the NFL’s highest paid defense, but also the oldest–having an average defensive player age of 29.73 years old.
Still, there were positive signs of change last season, as the Colts drafted some young and talented rookies such as Henry Anderson, Clayton Geathers, and David Parry that figure to be key contributors for the foreseeable future. Not to mention, help to keep that defensive cap figure in check, while they play out their budget friendly rookie contracts during the short-term.
That being said, the Colts must continue to draft and develop young defensive players going forward in order to avoid a failed financial philosophy that was seen this past season and to achieve greater sustainable long-term success.
It didn’t help that high priced veteran defensive lineman Arthur Jones ($7.1M) suffered a season-ending injury in preseason, but the team also didn’t get enough production from other high priced defensive veterans such as Greg Toler ($5.8M) and Trent Cole ($6.96M) among several others.
With Andrew Luck‘s mega-extension looming, as well as other key players contracts up soon, the Colts have to be much more efficient with their financial resources and salary cap allocation to continue to remain competitive.
The Colts simply didn’t get enough bang for their buck defensively this past season.
That has to change going forward.