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Projecting the Colts’ Rookie Deals + Cap Space Update

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NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Before we can project the rookie deals, we have to take into account the following factors/variables:

  • Contracts of previous year’s draft picks
  • The increase (inflation) of the NFL salary cap.
  • The player’s pick, as the contracts work on a pay scale.

The salary cap increased from $155.27M in 2016 to $167M in 2017. That $11.73M increase equates to 7.55%. We’ll factor in this inflation when projecting the contracts.

1st Round Pick (15th Overall Pick): Malik Hooker - S - Ohio State

2015 15th Overall Pick’s Contract (Melvin Gordon)
4 years, $10,669,773 with a $6,019,835 (56.4%) signing bonus — $1,926,023 cap hit

2016 15th Overall Pick’s Contract (Corey Coleman)
4 years, $11,654,997 with a $6,676,361 (57.2%) signing bonus — $2,119,090 cap hit

If we factor in the:

  • 7.55% increase in the salary cap from 2016 to 2017
  • 9.23% increase in the total value of the contract from 2015 to 2016
  • 10.9% increase in the signing bonus from 2015 to 2016
  • 10.0% increase in the cap hit from 2015 to 2016

We can estimate that Hooker’s contract will look like this:

4 years, $12,632,851 with a $7,292,589 (57.7%) signing bonus — $2,305,146 cap hit

2nd Round Pick (46th Overall Pick): Quincy Wilson - CB - Florida

2015 46th Overall Pick’s Contract (Jacquiski Tartt)
4 years, $5,037,015 with a $1,923,284 (38.2%) signing bonus — $915,821 cap hit

2016 46th Overall Pick’s Contract (A’Shawn Robinson)
4 years, $5,233,635 with a $2,006,280 (38.3%) signing bonus — $951,570 cap hit

If we factor in the:

  • 7.55% increase in the salary cap from 2016 to 2017
  • 3.9% increase in the total value of the contract from 2015 to 2016
  • 4.3% increase in the signing bonus from 2015 to 2016
  • 3.9% increase in the cap hit from 2015 to 2016

We can estimate that Wilson’s contract will look like this:

4 years, $5,533,522 with a $2,125,252 (38.4%) signing bonus — $1,006,095 cap hit

3rd Round Pick (80th Overall Pick): Tarell Bashem - OLB - Ohio

2015 80th Overall Pick’s Contract (Alex Carter)
4 years, $3,058,747 with a $688,747 (22.5%) signing bonus — $552,127 cap hit

2016 80th Overall Pick’s Contract (Adolphus Washington)
4 years, $3,189,296 with a $754,296 (23.7%) signing bonus — $638,574 cap hit

If we factor in the:

  • 7.55% increase in the salary cap from 2016 to 2017
  • 4.2% increase in the total value of contract from 2015 to 2016
  • 9.5% increase in the signing bonus from 2015 to 2016
  • 15.7% increase in the cap hit from 2015 to 2016

We can estimate that Bashem’s contract will look like this:

4 years, $3,376,826 with a $825,954 (24.5%) signing bonus — $721,840 cap hit

4th Round Pick (137th Overall Pick): Zach Banner - OT - USC

2015 137th Overall Pick’s Contract (Grady Jarrett)
4 years, $2,527,853 with a $247,853 (9.8%) signing bonus — $496,963 cap hit

2016 137th Overall Pick’s Contract (Dean Lowry)
4 years, $2,723,393 with a $383,393 (14.1%) signing bonus — $545,848 cap hit

If we factor in the:

  • 7.55% increase in the salary cap from 2016 to 2017
  • 7.7% increase in the total value of the contract from 2015 to 2016
  • 91.67% increase in the signing bonus from 2015 to 2016
  • 9.8% increase in the cap hit from 2015 to 2016

We can estimate that Banner’s contract will look like this:

4 years, $2,931,189 with a $573,594 (19.6%) signing bonus — $593,227 cap hit

4th Round Pick (143rd Overall Pick): Marlon Mack - RB - USF

2015 143rd Overall Pick’s Contract (MyCole Pruitt)
4 years, $2,510,588 with a $230,588 (9.2%) signing bonus — $492,647 cap hit

2016 143rd Overall Pick’s Contract (DeAndre Washington)
4 years, $2,609,195 with a $269,195 (10.3%) signing bonus — $517,298 cap hit

If we factor in the:

  • 7.55% increase in the salary cap from 2016 to 2017
  • 3.9% increase in the total value of the contract from 2015 to 2016
  • 16.7% increase in the signing bonus from 2015 to 2016
  • 5% increase in the cap hit from 2015 to 2016

We can estimate that Mack’s contract will look like this:

4 years, $2,758,701 with a $301,848 (10.9%) signing bonus — $549,784 cap hit

4th Round Pick (144th Overall Pick): Grover Stewart - DL - Albany State

2015 144th Overall Pick’s Contract (Mykkele Thompson)
4 years, $2,508,863 with a $228,863 (9.1%) signing bonus — $375,215 cap hit

2016 144th Overall Pick’s Contract (Connor McGovern)
4 years, $2,603,900 with a $263,900 (10.1%) signing bonus — $515,975 cap hit

If we factor in the:

  • 7.55% increase in the salary cap from 2016 to 2017
  • 3.7% increase in the total value of the contract from 2015 to 2016
  • 15.3% increase in the signing bonus from 2015 to 2016
  • 37.5% increase in the cap hit from 2015 to 2016

It was worth noting that the $375,215 cap hit in 2015 was an outlier as the group of players around him made between 500k and 510k. For those reasons, we’ll exclude the 37.5% increase percentage from our calculations.

We can estimate that Stewart’s contract will look like this:

4 years, $2,750,499 with a $294,063 (10.7%) signing bonus — $545,024 cap hit

5th Round Pick (158th Overall Pick): Nate Hairston - CB - Temple

2015 158th Overall Pick’s Contract (Shaq Reddick)
4 years, $2,491,833 with a $211,833 (8.5%) signing bonus — $487,958 cap hit

2016 158th Overall Pick’s Contract (Brandon Shell)
4 years, $2,575,966 with a $235,966 (9.2%) signing bonus — $508,991 cap hit

If we factor in the:

  • 7.55% increase in the salary cap from 2016 to 2017
  • 3.3% increase in the total value of the contract from 2015 to 2016
  • 11.4% increase in the signing bonus from 2015 to 2016
  • 4.3% increase in the cap hit from 2015 to 2016

We can estimate that Hairston’s contract will look like this:

4 years, $2,715,840 with a $258,335 (9.5%) signing bonus — $536,629 cap hit

5th Round Pick (161st Overall Pick): Anthony Walker - LB - Northwestern

2015 161st Overall Pick’s Contract (Neiron Bell)
4 years, $2,485,324 with a $205,324 (8.3%) signing bonus — $484,389 cap hit

2016 161st Overall Pick’s Contract (Christian Westerman)
4 years, $2,571,696 with a $231,696 (9.0%) signing bonus — $507,924 cap hit

If we factor in the:

  • 7.55% increase in the salary cap from 2016 to 2017
  • 3.4% increase in the total value of the contract from 2015 to 2016
  • 12.8% increase in the signing bonus from 2015 to 2016
  • 4.9% increase in the cap hit from 2015 to 2016

We can estimate that Walker’s contract will look like this:

4 years, $2,712,624 with a $255,282 (9.4%) signing bonus — $532,812 cap hit

Projected Cap Space

The Colts came in with about $20,775,037 (Over the Cap) of cap space. The 8 rookie contracts’ cap hit will amass to approximately $6,790,557.

The cap hits of Nate Hairston and Anthony Walker Jr would not be in the top 51 contracts (in terms of cap hits), so their contracts would not go against the salary cap. If we eliminate their cap hits, then the new cap hit total would be $5,721,116

EDIT: The six new rookie contracts that count against the cap would bump the lowest six contracts off the salary cap (bottom of the top 51 contracts), which means that the Colts will save an additional $3,321,463

Taking into account this new cap hit, we can estimate that the Colts will have approximately $18,375,354 in cap space remaining.