The Indianapolis Colts have made three moves thus far in free agency, as they have signed punter Jeff Locke, outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo, and outside linebacker John Simon. None of the moves have been officially announced by the Colts yet, but they have been widely reported.
We’ve seen contract details come in for all three of them, and it’s worth taking a look at what those contracts are.
2 years, $3.75 million ($1.25 million guaranteed)
ESPN’s Ben Goessling noted that the Colts gave punter Jeff Locke a two-year deal worth $3.75 million, adding that the Vikings did have interest in bringing him back. FOX59’s Mike Chappell pointed out that Over the Cap says that $1.25 million of that contract is guaranteed, while he will have a $1 million base salary in 2016 with a $750,000 roster bonus.
That’s not a bad contract at all for the Colts to get their punter, and the two-year deal might suggest that he truly is the guy they’re counting on to replace McAfee. It’s also presumed that Locke will be the kickoff specialist for the Colts, though he doesn’t have a ton of experience doing that. But for the Colts to get their punter in free agency on a smaller deal like this one is fine. In terms of average salary, this will put Locke right around the middle of the league for punter contracts.
1 year, $2 million ($500,000 guaranteed)
According to the Indianapolis Star’s Stephen Holder, outside linebacker Barkevous Mingo signed a one-year deal with the Colts worth $2 million, with another $500,000 possible in incentives. Holder noted that Mingo receives a $500,000 signing bonus but no other guaranteed money. The Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson broke it down: Mingo has a $1.5 million base salary, a $500,000 signing bonus, and another $500,000 in incentives for playtime.
Just like there’s not much to complain about with the Jeff Locke contract, there’s also nothing to complain about with the Barkevious Mingo contract. It’s quite clear what the Colts are doing with this move: taking a chance on a former first round pick who has been a bust. Mingo was a solid special teams player for the Patriots last year, but the Colts provide him with an opportunity to hopefully live up to his draft status defensively. If he does that, then the deal will turn out to be a steal for the Colts. If he doesn’t, the Colts can cut him without much loss. With only $500,000 being guaranteed, the Colts won’t have a big problem if they choose to cut Mingo after training camp, for instance, but they hope he can step up and contribute. This is a low-risk type of move that hopefully adds to the competition level of the roster.
3 years, $13.5 million ($5.5 million guaranteed)
The Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson is all over the contract details for John Simon, as he reports that Simon’s contract with the Colts is a three-year deal worth $13.5 million in base value, but potentially worth up to $17 million. Simon has a base salary of $1.5 million in 2017 that is guaranteed, along with a $4 million roster bonus. Simon’s base salary in 2018 is $3 million and his base salary in 2019 is $3.5 million, while Wilson notes that Simon has $1.5 million escalators in 2018 and 2019 for Pro Bowl, playtime, and sacks. Wilson mentions Simon “has an annual total of $500,000 in per game active roster bonuses.”
This is also a good contract for the Colts. It’s a bit more significant than the others that they’ve signed, but it makes sense. Simon is a young player who has really developed over the past few years with the Texans into a good run defender and a capable pass rusher, so the Colts are signing the 26-year old surely hoping he’ll continue to develop and get better. This was a good move by the Colts, and the contract is certainly quite manageable.