Earlier today, the Miami Dolphins signed corner Brent Grimes to a 4-year extension worth $32 million with a whopping $16 million guaranteed. This deal is big for the Colts and their soon-to-be free agent corner Vontae Davis. For starters, Davis is younger than Grimes (26 and 30, respectively) and is considered better overall. Thus, it seems my guessimate that Davis would want a 5-year, $35 million deal is likely way off.
Davis will ask for more. Much more.
If a 30-year-old is getting $16 million guaranteed, a guy like Davis could ask for $20-$25 million.
Not long after the news of Grimes' extension, Colts.com's Kevin Bowen posted a tweet and an article that focused on how Indy "has a plan" for Vontae Davis.
The timing of this was... interesting.
In general, the Colts are still maintaining that they want to re-sign Davis. However, their decision not to place the franchise tag on him suggests that they're not as serious as one would think. Without the tag, all Davis has to do is sit back and let the market dictate his asking price. He should be in absolutely no hurry to re-sign with Indianapolis, especially if other teams are willing to outbid each other for his services the moment March 8th arrives.
The way the market is trending, Davis might be looking at getting the same kind of deal the Houston Texans gave Jonathan Joseph back in 2011: 5 years, $48 million with $23.5 million guaranteed.
Yes, the Colts have cap space. Lots of it. With the salary cap now officially set at $133 million for 2014, Indianapolis has roughly $42 million in cap space to play with this offseason. However, general manager Ryan Grigson told the media that the Colts will employ "a very prudent and fiscally sound" approach to free agency.
Signing Vontae Davis to a near-$50 million deal is about as imprudent and fiscally unsound as it gets.
The more tea leaves I read, the more it seems that the Colts' "plan" is to let Davis walk. Personally, I'm not against this, though if it happens Ryan Grigson will take heat for trading a second round pick in 2013 just to have Davis for two years. Still, it's better for Grigson to take that hit now rather than invest so much of the team's cap and resources in a corner who has only four interceptions in two seasons of work.