Colts: 3 potential cap casualties Indy should target this offseason
This offseason could be the most pivotal in recent memory for the Indianapolis Colts. Their roster construction and core certainly have Super Bowl potential, but general manager Chris Ballard is being tasked with finding a franchise QB, a new left tackle to replace Anthony Castonzo, and potentially an entirely new set of cornerbacks with Xavier Rhodes and TJ Carrie hitting free agency.
The good news is that Indy, when all is said and done, will have between $60-$70 million in cap space, so these needs can be addressed. The problem is that the market is relatively thin with regard to all of those positions.
Unless Dak Prescott hits free agency, there really aren’t any QBs to choose from. Trent Williams is the only elite left tackle out there, and there will be a lot of competition to get his signature. The pool of cornerbacks isn’t overly impressive either, with Richard Sherman, William Jackson and Desmond King leading the way.
That just means the Colts are going to have to explore more avenues to acquire impact players. They can capitalize via trades and in the NFL Draft, but we’re forgetting one more pocket of free agency that can benefit a lot of teams: the cap casualties.
Though these might not be the most pressing needs for the Colts, a few of the league’s potential cap casualties could seriously help the roster while Ballard does the heavy lifting elsewhere.
The Colts need to target these three possible cap casualties.
3. Jamison Crowder
The Jets could be set to part ways with Crowder, who would fit well with the Colts.
Another position of need for the Colts lies at wide receiver with TY Hilton set to hit the open market. Some might bet he’ll be returning, but there’s no telling given his production over the last two years, and there’s no sense in paying him just because he’s been there for a long time. If a better option comes along, you simply need to upgrade.
So how about Jamison Crowder? He could get the axe from the Jets since his $10.5 million salary for 2021 isn’t guaranteed, and there’s no need to pay a player of his caliber if you’re rebuilding from the ground up. If New York ditches him, the Colts would be smart to add him alongside Michael Pittman Jr. and Zach Pascal in an offense that loves to spread the ball around.
Fans could argue that Indy needs a more true No. 1 option on the outside, but that also may not be easily available to the Colts, especially with the only “true” prototype being Allen Robinson, who will certainly be asking for big money. If we learned anything from Pittman, it’s that he could fill the role in some capacity, and so can Pascal (though he’s more limited). They’re hybrids in a sense.
And so is Crowder, who has been nothing but productive on bad teams since coming in the NFL back in 2015. Despite spending four years in Washington and two years in New York, the 27-year-old has averaged 11.6 yards per reception and has caught 26 touchdowns in 84 games. He also gets open a ton in the slot.
Indy can’t keep hoping for a healthy season from Parris Campbell after the last two years. Bringing in Crowder and piggybacking the production from Pittman and Pascal in 2020 could be a smart, cost-effective decision.