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With Marvin Harrison gone, where do the Colts stand in terms of the salary cap

Colts Cap hasn't updated their page yet, but regardless I'm going to try and figure out how much cap space the Colts have (despite my remedial skills with math; a coked up monkey can add and subtract better than I can).

With Marvin (and his $13.5 million dollar cap hit in 2009), the Colts were roughly $3.7 million over the cap. Cutting Marvin replaces the $13.5 million dollar hit with a $7 million dollar hit (roughly). This leaves the Colts with a little more than $2 million in cap space. Subtract Hunter Smith and it is $3 million. Factor in that all NFL teams got an extra $4 million in cap space, and the Colts right now have about $8 million (roughly).

Now, factor in Kelvin Hayden's contract for next year, and the Colts are looking at about $4 million in cap space. Not bad. 

Now, before everyone starts freaking out and screaming ONLY $4 MILLION, especially when they compare our cap situation to Tampa Bay's or KC's, I will remind you that many of the players we have signed are actually REALLY GOOD players. The reason teams like KC have tons of cap space is because they suck! No offense to Chiefs fans, but the "Chefs" have been an irrelevant franchise for a while now. Scott Pioli will indeed turn that around quick, but the reason Pioli is there in the first place is because the Chiefs have been so bad for so long.

Meanwhile, teams like Tampa Bay are starting over... again. They just cut their starting QB, their leading rusher, their leading receiver, and their defensive captain. They have a new head coach, and they have (groan) Jim Bates as their defensive coordinator, which means the Tampa-2 is getting chucked in favor of Bates' "two fatties in the middle, throw all over me" defense. Ask Denver fans how well that defense went for them.

Meanwhile, the Colts have Peyton Manning, Dallas Clark, Bob Sanders, Gary Brackett, Kelvin Hayden, Dwight Freeney, and Robert Mathis locked up. Reggie Wayne still has two more years on his contract. Guys like Corey Simon are mercifully off the books, and we don't have an albatross (like Vince Young, or something) dragging our roster down the toilet.

So, knowing all this, it is unlikely the Colts will pursue any of these newly released players. Joey Galloway is intriguing, I agree. But not Bill Polian's style. The Colts will draft a WR this year, likely in the first round. That might not be popular around here, but it is how Polian works. And while Derrick Brooks can still play, the fact is the Colts do not shell out money for LBers. MIKE backer Gary Brackett is the only one they have locked up. WILL and SAM have been musical chairs for the past 8 years.

Again, it is fun to speculate "Can this guy play for Indy?" I just don't want too many of you to get your hopes up. This off-season, there will be a lot of player movement. The economy and the salary cap in two years (or lack there of, at this point) is motivating these moves. This will likely shift the balance of power in the NFL.

Take comfort in the fact that most of Indy's vets are locked up and secure. The key now is the draft, and rookie free agency.

[UPDATE] Colts Cap says the Colts have roughly $10 million in cap space. See comments.