The immortal John Clayton at ESPN has reported that the 2014 NFL salary cap will actually be higher than previously thought. The number Clayton is suggesting is closer to $132 million, which gives the Indianapolis Colts even more room to, potentially, improve their roster.
However, as Mike Chappell's colleague at the Indianapolis Star, Stephen Holder, has reported, the sense around West 56th Street is that the Colts' front office will not be utilizing all that salary cap space this offseason.
Even tho we're seeing higher cap estimates, I dont expect a huge change in #Colts FA approach. Does provide flexibility w own FAs tho— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) February 26, 2014
As we wrote about earlier this month, a more prudent, measured approach to free agency is the ideal manner in which general manager Ryan Grigson should go about upgrading his extremely flawed roster this offseason. Basically, giving $11 million in guaranteed money to underachievers like LaRon Landry (or, as one reader suggested calling him, LOLRan Landry) is a no-no this year. However, if a team has anywhere from $40-$50 million in cap space, depending on other veterans they should release, both fans and the NFLPA are going to expect management and ownership to use all that cap space to improve the team.
From a certain point of view, why should a fan invest their personal "salary cap" on NFL games if the team won't invest all their cap in fielding the best roster possible?
This is a delicate game Grigson is playing this offseason. He has no first round pick, an offensive line riddled with holes, a bad defense, and both his kickers entering free agency. He will need to use the veteran market to augment his roster. If Grigson doesn't, and relies mostly on the draft, the Colts could slip in 2014 in a potentially much more competitive AFC South.