The Indianapolis Colts have done a great job of building a young, talented team, and that’s reflected in a ranking of teams set up for the future.
Despite the trends of the NFL, the Indianapolis Colts have resisted the urge of becoming big spenders in free agency. When the rest of the league is overpaying players in the opening days of free agency, the Colts always sit patiently despite pleas from everyone to spend some money.
However, Indianapolis has still been able to build a quality team. Indy didn’t make the playoffs last season but they did have a league-high seven Pro Bowlers along with many other young emerging stars. The quality roster was built through the draft, calculated trades, and big extensions for homegrown players.
What the Colts have been able to do has been noticed around the league and especially by PFF. In a recent PFF piece by Brad Spielberger, a three-year salary cap analysis was done to rank NFL teams that are best set up for the future.
The Colts, who have a lot of young players under contract were ranked as the fourth-best team set up for the future based on this salary cap analysis.
The salary cap shouldn’t be a problem for the Colts
To complete the analysis, there were five categories to look at for each team. Spielberger lists the categories as rookie-contract players, projected effective cap space 2022-2024, total prorated money, top 51 veteran valuation, and 2023 free agent projections.
Those five categories led to a lot of math and calculations that resulted in the Colts being ranked as the fourth-best team set up for the future. Indy trailed the Cincinnati Bengals, the Washington Commanders, and the New England Patriots.
What’s working for Indianapolis is that the team has already extended talents like Darius Leonard and Braden Smith, and stars like Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman Jr. are still somewhat early in their rookie contracts.
However, Indianapolis does have the pending extension for Quenton Nelson and a possible restructuring of Kenny Moore’s contract to worry about, but Indy is always in good financial standing, so both situations are things that should get figured out.
The Colts have successfully drafted and developed talent and they have also excelled at retaining the talent. That means Indy is set up to compete for many years and has a real chance to make a run at a Super Bowl.