Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Colts offseason moves

I promise not to discuss deflated balls. Time to move on to the 2015 season...

Notable free agents that I don't expect to return include Reggie Wayne, Matt Hasselbeck and likely Hakeem Nicks. That leaves a big hole at WR (after TY Hilton and Donte Moncrief) but the rumor mill says Duron Carter has his hopes set on playing with Andrew Luck this fall. Ahmed Bradshaw played great in the games he was healthy, and deserves at least another year - especially at the pricetag of less than $1M/yr. Ballard, Boom and Trent are still on the roster but I don't expect Richardson to stay employed much longer.

The 2 old guys (10+ years experience) entering Free Agency are Cory Redding and Mike Adams. Both of these men are anchors at their positions. Adams' value will be inflated by his Pro Bowl bid but should be a manageable sum around $2-3M/yr. Sergio Brown is quite a bit younger (26) but is quickly proving his worth. Colts need both their safeties to return as one of the league's best Pass Defenses can only get better. That is, as long as their 2 Free Agent corners can stay. Josh Gordy and Darius Butler are both in their late 20s and they're at that point in their careers where they've basically peaked. Do the Colts reward either with lucrative contracts (Butler was already making $2M/yr) or does Indy dive into the deep CB pool on draft day?

The 2 remaining Free Agents the Colts need to look hard at are Joe Reitz and Fili Moala. Maybe I have a warm spot in my heart for overpaid backups, or maybe I see greater potential from both, but this is where the Salary Cap comes into play. As I mentioned above, they are letting go of Reggie and Nicks, which should free up some space. And if they also happen to not re-sign Gordy and Butler, that should leave them around $11M under the cap. Take away ~$5 for the incoming rookies and you're left with some wiggle room, depending on how much the Cap increases this year. Lately, the average increase is about $7M but last year was $10M (to $133M). Thus, I expect this year's increase to be slightly smaller than average, so lets say it only increases $5M. Now we're back up to much more wiggle room, which allows them to possibly sign an experienced backup QB or upgrade at OL.

Yes, the most glaring need is Offensive Line but I argue that their patchwork actually works. As long as Donald Thomas plays, the only major weakness is Center. Lets face it, Harrison and Shipley are not starting-caliber. I suspect it would take a minor miracle to find a stud at this position for a cheap price. Honestly, who wouldn't want to be the battery mate of the best QB in the game?? 

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