Though Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard has never been one to spend big in free agency, the fact that the team is seemingly a few more marquee additions away from entering the championship conversation suggests he should be planning to make a big splash.
The Colts entered the offseason among the league leaders in salary cap space, and they still sit near the top of the rankings following the Carson Wentz trade, as the 28-year-old quarterback will account for a $25.4 million hit.
Fortunately for Indianapolis, however, they’re slated to get even more of a boost after the league finalized its team adjustments/carry over figures for the new league year, which is slated to get under way at 4 p.m. ET on March 17.
According to ESPN insider Field Yates, the Colts will carry over approximately $8.53 million in cap space for this offseason, which can be used to either sign free agents or extend star players on expiring contracts.
The Colts’ carry-over cap figure was approved by the NFL.
The NFL has yet to announce the official salary cap figure for next season, so it’s difficult to get a gauge on how much money Indianapolis will have at their disposal. However, assuming the number is set at or around $185 million, they should have somewhere around $51 million, which would be good for the fifth-most of any team.
This offseason is incredibly important for the Colts (even following the Wentz trade), and this cap update confirms they’ll be primed to make a few top-ticket additions. That being said, however, fans shouldn’t exactly be preparing for Ballard to be making signings left and right.
After all, a large chunk of Indy’s cap space will presumably be set aside for extensions for players like linebacker Darius Leonard and right guard Quenton Nelson, among others. Assuming Ballard compensates them appropriately, the star duo should be making a combined $36 million annually, or something along those lines.
We probably sound like we’re throwing cold water on what is undoubtedly positive news for Indianapolis, but that couldn’t be less true. The last thing we want is fans to set unrealistic expectations for the front office, and that could easily happen if they take one gander at their spending power.
Bottom line? The Colts are sitting pretty to make at least a handful of blockbuster-adjacent moves this offseason, whether it be internally or on the open market, and that alone should have fans drooling with free agency just a little over a week away.