Report: Colts Are $15 Million Under The Salary Cap For 2011

Some of you may not know this, but the new league year has not officially begun because the new collective bargaining agreement has not been officially signed. For the last two weeks, the NFL and NFLPA have been working to finalize the CBA, and both are expected to ratify it today in Washington, DC.

Some of the new details emerging from the CBA include (via Mark Maske of the Washington Post):

  • Players' appeals on illegal hits are heard by former-coaches and players Art Shell and Ted Cottrell, who were jointly appointed by league and union.
  • Commissioner Roger Goodell retains full authority to enforce personal conduct policy.
  • HGH testing with not be part of the new CBA.

The other detail in the new CBA is that, when ratified today at 4 p.m. Eastern, all NFL team must be under the 120 mill dollar salary cap. No exceptions.

This has forced many fans to ask, 'Who is over the cap?' Well, PFT has a story out detailing who is and isn't. Surprisingly, the Colts are the team with the second most cap space in the league right now at $15.7 mill.

Um, yeah. So now Indy has money. I just have one thought upon hearing this news...

SIGN SOME MORE FREE AGENTS, CHRIS!!!

From the PFT article:

During training camp and the preseason, salary cap compliance is determined by looking at the cap numbers for the 51 highest-paid players on the team.  Once the season begins, all 53 players plus players on injured reserve must fit under the spending maximum.

Also from the article, the Redskins have roughly $18 mill in cap space and the Packers (you know, the team that dominated the playoffs last year) are at $15.4 mill under.

For the Colts, I'm actually a little surprised that they are so far below the cap. Don't ask me how the got the number down so low. Will Carrol and I are kind of beside ourselves thinking how it's $15.7 mill.

Now, it's important to note that for 2011 there is no salary floor. This means that if the Colts want to be cheap and not use that $15.7 mill to improve the roster, they can. Eventually, teams will have to spend 89% and then 99% of their cap. But, in 2011, nope.

Of course, if the Colts do enter 2011 'on the cheap,' sites like this one will make life for the Colts communications and P.R. department very difficult. We firmly believe that every dollar possible should be used to help the team win. They play in a publicly funded stadium, and that stadium is hosting the Super Bowl this season. $15.7 mill is money this team wipes its butt with on a daily basis. It should be used to bring better players onto the roster, or to lock up established players who have expiring contracts.

With this $15.7 mill, we fans should expect to see more free agent signings. This team still has depth issues along the offensive line, defensive tackle, and strong safety.

And, really, if they have $15.7 mill, why didn't they match Charlie Johnson's three-year, $10.5 mill deal he got from the Vikings? He wanted to stay in Indy, and paying $4 mill this year for C.J. is still a great deal for what he brings to the team.

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