It’s never too early to look ahead to the future. A great NFL general manager must prepare his team to win now - and for years to come. The Colts are setting themselves up to win in the near future. With a franchise quarterback in place, and new GM Chris Ballard adding young competition to both sides of the football, there is a reason for optimism in Indianapolis.
The Colts will be among the top of the league in terms of cap space. According to over the cap they will have over 60 million in free space next season. This number will change slightly over the course of time, but generally speaking it is an accurate number. A goal for Indianapolis will be to keep their own - Donte Moncrief, Vontae Davis, and Jack Mewhort are notable players with expiring contracts. Out of the three players listed above, we could see Mewhort, and Moncrief’s, cap number raise the most if they have good seasons. Moncrief has a load of potential that could be realized this season, while Mewhort is working his way back from injury.
With the rookie wage scale in place, young players no longer have large salaries like they did in the past. This means that they wont have a big cap hit on their team’s salary cap until their second contract. Unfortunately for the Colts they haven’t needed to give many young players large second contracts because the team has drafted so poorly - especially in the 2013 draft, where the Colts no longer have players from that class on the team.
While it is a luxury to have flexibility with cap room, spending it in the right places is extremely difficult. As Colts fans know all too well now, bringing in high ticket free agents does not translate to success on the field. The roster management staff must take note of previous mistakes to avoid them in the future.
Ryan Grigson’s poor draft classes has led Indianapolis to have plenty of spending money. Chris Ballard must use this cap space, without compromising the future of the team. If this can be executed correctly, along with good drafting and smart trades, the Colts can recapture their winning culture of years past - hopefully sooner rather than later.