The Indianapolis Colts have many players that will be free agents by the end of this season. They can cut ties with many, and resign the ones that they really need. The salary cap is $123 million this season, and shouldn’t change much, if at all, for 2014. So all figures I use are under a $123 million salary cap expectation for 2014. Now, the first free agents to look at are the ones that the Colts will most likely let go in free agency.
The 2014 free agents the Colts should get rid of include, Josh Gordy (CB), Kellen Heard (DE), Scott Lutrus (LB), Thomas Austin (C), Donald Brown (HB), Daniel Adongo (LB), Lawrence Sidbury (LB), Martin Tevaseu (DT) and Adam Vinatieri (K). If all of these players are let go, the Colts will have about $7 million in direct cap money in 2014. In all honesty, each one of these players doesn’t deserve to come back. Everyone but Brown and Vinatieri are all third-string players who can be filled in with young rookies that the Colts can work to develop into serviceable players. Brown should be resigned, but only for a minimum contract. Vinatieri has been on a major decline, and there are far better kicking options out there.
With $7 million put into their pocket, the Colts will then have to look to who else they need to resign. The biggest names include, Darrius Heyward-Bey (WR), Pat Angerer (LB), Pat McAfee (P), Antoine Bethea (FS), Ahmad Bradshaw (HB), Vontae Davis (CB) and Kavell Connor (LB). Angerer and Connor are making well under the amount they should be. If they’re both resigned, their new contacts will have a bigger cap hit in 2014 than in 2013. As for the rest of the big name players, their contracts total around $14,300,000 million. If all of these players perform around their regular, the Colts will most likely pay about $17 million to retain them all, Angerer and Connor included.
The cap number to keep some other second-string free agents in 2014 is about $8,600,000. This means that the Colts will most likely spend about $25 million to their 2014 cap to retain all of the free agent players that I am predicting they will, and should, keep. The rest of the money the Colts will be spending on their already under contract players in 2014, is around $90 million, with dead money included.
So, if the salary cap stays the same in 2014, the Colts should spend about $90 million to keep everyone they should keep. Add the nearly $7 million they saved, and it will take them down to about $83 million in total cap hit in 2014. That means they will have a massive amount of money to spend on free agents and draft picks in the upcoming year.