Chris Ballard says Colts have more flexibility than usual going into 2024 free agency

The Indianapolis Colts are entering a pivotal offseason, but general manager Chris Ballard believes the team has flexibility to make some big moves.
Houston Texans v Indianapolis Colts
Houston Texans v Indianapolis Colts / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

The Indianapolis Colts find themselves in a familiar situation heading into the offseason: a team with a lot of cap space. Indy is projected to have $72 million in cap space, the fourth most in the NFL. However, there is one thing unfamiliar about Indy’s circumstances this time around. The Colts already have their quarterback situation sorted out.

With Anthony Richardson recovering and preparing for his second season in the NFL, Indianapolis will likely have the same quarterback starting back-to-back season openers for the first time since 2016. While it’s always great to know who your quarterback is, there’s another benefit to having Richardson as the guy: his rookie contract.

Richardson’s cap hit in 2024 is a little under $8 million. That’s extremely cheap for a starting quarterback in today’s NFL. With that being the case, Colts fans will likely see the team be more aggressive in free agency this year. General manager Chris Ballard, in his end-of-year press conference, admitted that the team has more flexibility going into free agency since they are benefiting from a rookie quarterback contract.

Colts planning to take advantage of Anthony Richardson’s rookie contract

Ballard quickly reflected on how Indianapolis spent the last couple of seasons paying a lot of money to veteran quarterbacks. From Jacoby Brissett to Philip Rivers to Carson Wentz to Matt Ryan, the Colts have been on the hook for upwards of $20 million in quarterback money. That’s no longer the case.

So what will Ballard and Indy do with this flexibility? It’s still unlikely that Ballard goes on a massive spending spree on the first day of free agency; that’s not his style. However, he did say that the team will be aggressive as they need to be in order to improve the roster. In reality, that likely means re-signing the key Colts players that are set to enter free agency like Michael Pittman Jr., Kenny Moore II, Julian Blackmon, and Grover Stewart.

Aside from that, Indianapolis could possibly make one big splash signing, but that remains to be seen. Chris Ballard has given fans hope by talking the talk, but he’ll ultimately have to walk the walk in free agency to get everyone excited.