clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Breaking Down the Colts Salary Cap Situation

The Colts have a ton of cap space, but where is their money allocated? Andrew Aziz has the detailed breakdown of the current cap situation.

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

With free agency starting on Tuesday, it's time to break down the current cap situation for the Indianapolis Colts, who many expect to be "busy" during the week. It seems as if the Colts are interested in every major prospect, according to these reports! Nevertheless, if the Colts wanted to be active, they have the money to do so.

How much cap space do they have?

According to Spotrac, the Colts have 31.98M in cap space. That includes the projected draft pick salaries and the top 51 contracts (which is how they determine the team's salary cap during the season).

The Colts currently have 16 free agents, 13 being unrestricted free agents, 2 being restricted free agents and 1 being an exclusive right free agents. Considering the Colts have not extending a qualifying offer to A.Q Shipley or Delano Howell, it's safe to assume that they will not be coming back. Also, it's safe to assume that Josh McNary won't be coming back, due to his rape allegations. The Colts also released Shaun Phillips, which means he won't be coming back. Finally, Reggie Wayne will not be re-signed by the Colts.

With all those scenarios played out, the Colts are left with 11 free agents, 10 being unrestricted free agents and 1 being a restricted free agent.

That was the objective part, here comes the subjective part. Let's break down the remaining 12 free agents and place them into three categories: "Not Likely to Be Re-Signed", "50/50 Chance of Being Re-Signed" and "Likely to Be Re-Signed". This is based on anything I have read and my personal opinion on the players.

Likely to Be Re-Signed

Mike Adams

Colt Anderson

Sergio Brown

Cory Redding

50/50 Chance of Being Re-Signed

Josh Gordy

Jeris Pendleton

Joe Reitz

Not Likely to Be Re-Signed

Ahmad Bradshaw

Fili Moala

Hakeem Nicks

Andy Studebaker

Even if the players in the "50/50" and "Likely" categories are re-signed to richer contracts (for their worth/value), that should still leave the Colts with at least 20 million dollars (based on rough projections).

Let's take a look at the money spent at each position versus the NFL average. This is based on the cap number of the current players under contract.


Indianapolis Colts

NFL Average


$10,034,363 (6.58%)

$12,651,463 (8.57%)

Running Back

$6,070,202 (3.98%)

$5,211,852 (3.50%)

Wide Receiver

$4,759,730 (3.12%)

$13,523,513 (9.08%)

Tight End

$4,002,441 (2.63%)

$6,156,118 (4.07%)

Offensive Line

$26,409,812 (17.33%)

$21,379,516 (14.31%)

Defensive End

$1,650,493 (1.08%)

$13,444,393 (9.02%)

Defensive Tackle

$8,835,878 (5.80%)

$6,085,486 (4.09%)

Outside Linebacker

$15,728,089 (10.32%)

$9,273,341 (6.19%)

Inside Linebacker

$8,616,000 (5.65%)

$7,253,295 (4.68%)


$17,828,334 (11.70%)

$12,443,918 (8.37%)


$1,170,000 (0.77%)

$6,823,253 (4.58%)

Special Teams

$6,650,000 (4.35%)*


* Matt Overton's cap hit details are not known, so he has been given a cap projection of 700K.
** Special Teams NFL Average cannot be calculated as some teams have not released all information or do not have some special teams players on the roster.

What can we take away from that table? The first thing we should do is see where the Colts are less than the NFL Average. They are less than the NFL Average at: quarterback, wide receiver, tight end, defensive end and safety. Considering that Andrew Luck is the quarterback (in his rookie contract) and Allen and Fleener are the tight ends (also in their rookie deals), we can take out those two positions. That leaves us with wide receiver, defensive end and safety. Considering the Colts have TY Hilton at wide receiver, we can eliminate that too, but that doesn't mean the Colts shouldn't go for a veteran receiver this offseason.

Let's focus on the defensive end and safety position.

At defensive end, the Colts have 5 guys signed, but they only make up for 1.6M and that ranks as the lowest amount of money in the NFL. The Colts have Cory Redding as a free agent, and should start by re-signing him. Even if they sign him to a deal where his cap hit is 3M, the Colts would only move up one spot. Point is, the Colts need to start spending money on their defensive ends. It is an important position for a 3-4 defense and as we can see, the Colts are not spending nearly enough money on it.

At safety, the Colts have two players under contract and rank at the bottom of the NFL in terms of money spent on the position. The Colts have Mike Adams as a free agent, and should definitely re-sign him. Signing him will be important, but the NFL average is 5.7M higher than what the number the Colts are currently at. They need to start throwing some money there.

It's obvious the Colts are thin at those two positions and although money averages aren't the ultimate indicator for seeing weaknesses on a team, it does tell you where they are spending money and where they are not, and if they are "need" positions, then we can start making correlations.

All in all, it should be a busy offseason for the Colts. We can see that the Colts need to start spending money at two need positions (safety and defensive end) and that the money is on par with the NFL average at certain positions. The Colts also have 11 free agents they need to worry about. Good news is, they have the cap space!