From his first days in office, Chris Ballard has been transparent about his approach to Free Agency. “Eventually what you would like to happen is you are paying your own guys,” and with big paydays awaiting some Colts over the next couple of years, it makes sense to start saving up some cash.
Players like Anthony Castonzo (‘19), Ryan Kelly (‘19 but there is 5th-year clause), Eric Ebron (‘19), T.Y. Hilton (‘20) and Andrew Luck (‘21) are gonna require some mayor paychecks if the Colts choose to bring them back.
However, with $107 million in the bank, the Colts have more than enough to re-sign their own, and maybe make a splash in the free agent market. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a possible target.
A talented (averages 7 sacks per season) and young (25) pass rusher, Flowers seems to have the makings of a star. He has thrived in the Patriots Fairbanks-Bullough 3–4 defensive scheme, and while that is not the base defense in Indianapolis, there are important similarities. The primary goals are to pressure the quarterback and force opponents to accept short 3-5 yard gains, while protecting against big plays and trying to shut down the opponent’s primary weapon(s).
The Patriots are strapped for cash, with $23 million in total and about $15 million to spend on FA. It should also be noted that Belichick has a history of letting players that want large contracts go. However, many of those players struggle outside of Foxborough. Players like Malcolm Butler, Dion Lewis, Danny Amendola and Nate Solder have seen their production drop on other teams.
Nonetheless, Flowers could be one of the few pass rushers to make it to the market. While his stock is rising, the Colts have the available cap space to offer him a front-loaded 4-year, $60 million contract with 50% guaranteed cash.
It might be a little more than Ballard would like ($15 million APY) but, theoretically, they know he has a floor of providing 7 sacks and 50 tackles every year.
If Ballard signed Flowers, the Colts would have a healthy rotation of pass rushers with Tyquan Lewis, Jabaal Sheard, Kemoko Turay and Flowers. This would enable them to spend a higher pick on another position of need (DT, WR, CB) and further improve the roster.
The probability of Colts signing Flowers: Slightly above average. The Colts are likely on a short-list of possible suitors due to factors like cap space, playoff contention, and scheme fit. Still, it would not be a surprise to see Flowers end up elsewhere.
Next free agent to take a look at? (Tell me other’s you want in the commnets)
This poll is closed
Frank Clark, DE Seahawks
Ronald Darby, CB Eagles
Kevin White, WR Bears
Le’Veon Bell, RB Steelers
Adrian Amos, FS