According to The Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson, the Indianapolis Colts have provided a large guaranteed base salary to UConn OT Ryan Van Demark ($175K), as well as Notre Dame quarterback Jack Coan ($55K) to sign as priority rookie undrafted free agents.
Indianapolis Colts signed offensive tackle Ryan Van Demark to a free agent deal that includes $175,000 base salary guarantee, per a league source. The deal does not include a signing bonus, but this is a massive base salary guarantee— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) May 1, 2022
Notre Dame quarterback Jack Coan deal with the Colts includes $60,000 total guaranteed with $55,000 of his base salary guaranteed and $5,000 signing bonus, per a league source— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) May 1, 2022
Regarding Van Demark, the Colts visited the 6’6”, 307 pound senior Huskies offensive tackle before the NFL Draft and were clearly interested in him throughout the pre-draft evaluation process. He started 10 games for the Huskies at left tackle in 2021.
With 35 3/4” arms, Van Demark has a RAS of 9.45 out of a maximum of 10.0—meaning he’s an impressive athlete for the offensive tackle position, and it is par for the course regarding the Colts’ super-athletic 2022 draft class collectively.
While the Colts did select Central Michigan offensive tackle Bernhard Raimann in the third round, there’s room for more than one rookie to earn a 53-man roster spot at the position—as the team has lost veterans Eric Fisher, Julie’n Davenport, and Sam Tevi from last year.
It may have taken a little extra monetary convincing for Van Demark to ink a deal with Indy.
Meanwhile, Coan is a 6’3”, 218 pound senior quarterback from Notre Dame (having transferred from Wisconsin), who completed 253 of 386 throws (65.5%) for 3,150 passing yards, 25 passing touchdowns, and 7 interceptions during 13 starts.
He should compete for the primary backup quarterback spot behind veteran starter Matt Ryan with 2021 6th round pick Sam Ehlinger, and if nothing else, could provide the Colts with a valuable training camp arm—and eventual practice squad stash.
Neither guaranteed base salary is insignificant, especially when one considers that the most money given out last year to a priority rookie undrafted free agent was a $45,000 signing bonus issued by the Colts again to Duke running back Deon Jackson:
Duke running back Deon Jackson got a $45,000 signing bonus from the Indianapolis Colts as a priority free agent, highest signing bonus for an undrafted rookie this year, per a league source. Rushed for 2,267 career yards, 18 touchdowns, 61 catches, 534 yards and four touchdowns— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) May 2, 2021
While the Colts are ordinarily fairly prudent in unrestricted free agency with their available salary cap space—although let’s be real, the Stephon Gilmore was a major splash signing for the franchise, they’ve become somewhat of the ‘New York Yankees’ as it relates to spending on top priority rookie UDFA’s, relatively speaking.
They’re willing to spend top dollar to ultimately help land their prized coveted targets in what’s historically been a very competitive process among NFL teams following the NFL Draft:
Well I guess the upside to the Colts rarely signing UFAs in the off-season is they have a massive UDFA talent class— Billy M (@BillyM_91) April 30, 2022