Looking ahead at the Colts offseason, I would like to cover the re-signings of team players, free agency targets, the NFL draft, and potential salary cap saving moves for the Colts.
For the 2014 offseason the Colts have a number of free agents available with roughly 35 million in cap space. The free agents of the Colts include LB Pat Angerer, Kavell Conner and Lawrence Sidbury, S Antoine Bethea, and Sergio Brown, Ahmad Bradshaw and Donald Brown at RB, Deion Branch and Darrius Heyward-Bey at WR Vonte Davis and Cassius Vaughn at CB, Aubrayo Franklin at NT, Jeff Linkenbach and Mike McGlynn at OL, Ricardo Mathews, and Fili Moala at DL, and special teamers Pat McAfee and Adam Vinatieri. Out of the team free agents I would look to bring back Donald Brown, Vonte Davis, Cassius Vaughn, Jeff Linkenbach, Mike McGlynn Pat McAfee and Adam Vinatieri. Assuming we can sign all of them for roughly 20M, this would allow us to spend around 15M in the free agent market.
Some positions or players I would try to target in the offseason free agent market would be the WR, C/G and CB/S positions. Players like Alex Mack or Brian De La Puente at C, signing Brent Grimes, or Jairus Byrd at CB/S and Damian Williams Jacoby Ford, or Hakeem Nicks at WR. Lets say we tackle the C/G WR and CB/S positions in Free Agency for roughly 15M. This would bring us to the NFL draft with only a few million to spend.
The 2014 NFL Draft currently has the colts with five selections and roughly 5M in salary to work with. The first pick is late in the second round. Looking at what I have done in the offseason will help me target certain areas within the draft. Those targets of need for extra depth would be LB, WR, CB/S DL OL. Lets say we shore up the LB, DL, WR and OL positions in the draft. This would put me over a little in cap room which I would then make some financial saving roster cuts. These cuts might include DE Ricky Jean Francois, QB Matt Hasselbeck, LB Kelvin Sheppard, CB Greg Toler, and C Samson Setele. This would give the colts roughly 15M extra in cap room for next season.
In the end, I would have spent roughly 40M in the offseason and saved roughly 15M via roster cuts. In doing this, I would of strengthened the Interior OL, improved the secondary, and threw in some depth at the WR DL and LB positions either via free agents or draft picks. In getting all of our Injured players back from last season, I think we are better built for a championship.