Colts are trying to make the money work for one more big-name defender
Team owner Jim Irsay says the Indianapolis Colts are working to land a big-name defender that will bring excitement to the fan base.
Things have simmered down for the Indianapolis Colts after trading for Yannick Ngakoue and Matt Ryan. It seems as if the team has turned its attention to the upcoming NFL Draft.
However, team owner, Jim Irsay, revealed that Indianapolis may not be done making big moves yet. In an interview with Colts reporter JJ Stankevitz, Irsay discussed Indy’s latest plans.
He said there’s a chance that Indianapolis adds one more defensive veteran that will bring a lot of excitement but did point out that it has to work for Indy’s remaining cap space.
Once this statement was out, fans immediately begin to speculate that the defender being discussed is Tyrann Mathieu. The veteran safety is still a free agent and is not returning to the Kansas City Chiefs.
For weeks, fans have been trying to photoshop Mathieu to Indianapolis into existence, and Irsay’s comments add more fuel to that fire.
Could Tyrann Mathieu be veteran defender Colts are working to add?
Irsay’s use of “excites” and mentioning cap space alludes to this being one of the bigger free agent names remaining. Not many are bigger than Tyrann Mathieu.
The other high-profile defenders that are still free agents are Bobby Wagner and Stephon Gilmore. Wagner has a relationship with Colts defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, but Indy is set at linebacker and Wagner has been linked to other teams.
Gilmore would fill a need at corner for Indianapolis so he may be the veteran that Irsay is talking about. However, Mathieu is the defender that has driven the most excitement amongst fans.
The Honey Badger is turning 30 in May and is coming off a Pro Bowl season. Mathieu has been selected to the Pro Bowl or an All-Pro team in each of the last three years.
His intensity and play-making ability would fit right in with the Colts’ defense. He would be in a defensive backfield with fellow impact players like Kenny Moore and the emerging Julian Blackmon.
That’s in addition to the Pro Bowlers that will line up in front of him like Darius Leonard, DeForest Buckner, and Yannick Ngakoue. It would be a fun signing and one that will help boost the defense.
As Irsay said, it has to make sense financially. The Colts have $21 million remaining in cap space and Mathieu’s market value is $14.8 million annually.
That’s according to Spotrac, which calculates a three-year $44.5 million contract for Mathieu. That’s a number that Indy could make work, leaving around $7 million in cap space heading into the draft.
If Mathieu is the defender that Irsay is speaking of, fans will find out in the coming days if Indianapolis can pull the move off.