How much salary cap space do the Colts have this offseason?

Mar 1, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard speaks to the
Mar 1, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard speaks to the / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Free agency is approaching for the NFL. How much cap space do the Indianapolis Colts have during the 2023 offseason to spend in free agency.

After an underwhelming 4-12-1 season, the Indianapolis Colts have entered one of the most important offseasons in franchise history. The team is aggressively attacking the offseason so that the franchise can be competitive moving forward. The offseason started with a coaching search that resulted with Indy hiring offensive guru Shane Steichen to be the team’s next head coach.

Another big step for the Colts will be selecting a quarterback at the top of the draft and putting together another good draft class completely. However, before Indianapolis gets there, Indy will have the opportunity to improve its roster in free agency. Starting on March 15, the Colts and the rest of the NFL will begin offering big contracts to free agents, in hopes that they’ll sign with them. However, in order to do that, teams must have a reasonable amount of cap space. So how much cap space does Indianapolis have this offseason?

Colts 2023 cap space

According to Over The Cap, Indianapolis has $11.9 million in cap space this offseason, 15th-most in the NFL. This is much different from in recent years when Indy had some of the most cap space in the league. However, this isn’t necessarily all the money Indy will have to work with this offseason. There are plenty of ways to create more cap space in the league and teams have already started that process.

How can Colts create more cap space?

The biggest way Indianapolis will be able to create cap space this offseason is by moving on from Matt Ryan. Ryan has a $35.2 million cap hit next season, and although the Colts haven’t decided on Ryan’s future yet, it’s expected that they’ll release him. Ryan’s dead cap is only $18 million, so releasing him would free up a nice amount of cap space for Indianapolis.

In addition to Ryan, there are other players on the roster that could become cap casualties. Either Indy will try to trade certain players and their contracts, or just outright release them. Indy’s rival, the Tennessee Titans, have been going through this process in recent weeks, but their cap situation was much more severe than Indy’s. It’s unlikely that the Colts will have many cap casualties.

It’s also unlikely that Indianapolis will be real aggressive with the cap space it does have; Chris Ballard is rarely super aggressive in free agency anyway. Indy will likely use its cap space to try and re-sign players, acquire a few depth pieces, and maybe make a run at one or two bigger names.

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