As the Colts’ free agent signings have been happening, we’ve also been paying attention to the reported contract details for each of those signings, as it helps us understand some of what the Colts expect that player’s role to be.
So today we’re looking at two more signings, as the contract details for the Colts’ re-signing of safety Darius Butler and their signing of linebacker Sean Spence are available.
1 year, $3 million ($2.5 million guaranteed)
This is a relatively simple deal, it seems, as it’s just a one-year contract worth $3 million, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. It should be noted, however, that the deal could be worth up to $4.5 million with incentives. The Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson reports that those $1.5 million includes Pro Bowl, playtime, and interception incentives. Wilson notes that Butler’s deal features a $1 million base salary and a $1.5 million signing bonus (making it $2.5 million guaranteed), as well as a $31,250 per game active roster bonus.
It’s a fair deal for both sides. It gives the Colts a capable starting safety, a guy who can play slot cornerback well too, and a good locker room presence all for pretty cheap. For Butler, it allows him to stay with the franchise, make the transition to safety, get paid fairly, and still hit the free agent market again in a year. Though he’ll be 32 years old when this season starts (and therefore will turn 33 next offseason when he hits free agency again), if Butler proves successful at safety and a capable starter, he should be able to get a nice deal next offseason. It was a crucial move for the Colts to make, giving them a versatile defensive back who will likely start at safety, and it’s one with very low risk too.
1 year, $2.5 million ($750,000 guaranteed)
On Sunday the Colts signed inside linebacker Sean Spence, and the deal is a one-year contract worth $2.5 million, according to The Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson. Spence received a $750,000 signing bonus, has a base salary of $1.25 million, and has $500,000 in incentives as well as a $31,250 per game active roster bonus.
The details of this deal help us understand what Spence is being brought in to do: compete. It’s not a big contract in the first place, and there’s not much guaranteed money either. For the Colts - a team in need of inside linebacker help - that’s a move that makes sense, as they get a guy who is likely an upgrade and who would be a starter, but who will mainly provide competition for Edwin Jackson, Antonio Morrison, and whoever else the team brings in. He might not have been the most exciting inside linebacker for the Colts to bring in from a fan’s perspective, but for the competition he brings this deal is very reasonable.