I'll get a full post out much later today than normal, but I wanted to chime in with some random thoughts:
- Kravitz' claim that Indy can't win the Super Bowl with Manning making the franchise tag in 2011 rings false. It will be true in the future as that value increases, but I don't believe it's true now. I'm not sure the Colts are Super Bowl contenders anyway, and putting that on Manning is a fallacy. Free agency rarely solves problems, and while Indy needs some kind of help at safety, that can be achieved via restructuring other deals.
- Let's be clear: it's not any player's responsibility to manage the cap or protect team finances. That's the GM's job. My piece on Manning yesterday was about the pressure applied to him, not reality. In reality, the only ones to blame if Indy doesn't have the money to make the right moves are the Polians. Manning is under no obligation to 'help' the team financially. It's not fair to blame players for wanting fair market deals. That's management's job to figure out how to do it. If the Colts haven't managed their cap and roster correctly, blaming the quarterback is ridiculous. Blame the GM who didn't plan it out right. I think this discussion will be moot anyway.
- Everyone complained about Manning's deal in 2004 too. There was a lot of hand-wringing and worrying that it would destroy the Colts, especially in 2009 and 2010 when Manning's cap number would skyrocket. Everyone compared it to Brady's team friendly deal. All that talk was nonsense. It's just as stupid now.
- The problem with Kelvin Hayden's deal is the bonus money. Back in February, I advocated cutting him because it was unclear how the $7.1 million in unpaid bonus money would be accounted for. There was a chance Indy would have it wiped out entirely. Now, however, cutting outright just doesn't save enough cap space. His $8 million+ cap hit would be reduced to the total outstanding bonus money, meaning Indy would only save about $1 million but cutting him. If they rework his deal to a smaller salary, he can get paid MORE in Indy than he would as a free agent, but still save the Colts cash. It doesn't matter what Hayden is worth right now. What matters is creating cap room, and cutting him just doesn't save as much as a restructuring might.
- Ryan Diem has no outstanding bonus money, so cutting him outright really does save Indy millions.
- Remind me why I'm supposed to worry about Matt Hasselbeck again? He hasn't played in 16 games, completed more than 60% of his passes, or had a rating over 75.1 since 2007. I'm sorry, but I don't see how he helps the Titans.
- I believe Chad Spann has a real shot at making the Colts not just as a kick returner. He's a pure running back, and worked on kicks this summer to enhance his chances of making a roster. Don't think of him as a specialist. He's a running back, and I suspect Indy will largely be heading for a more up the middle style run game in general. I don't expect Addai to be resigned.
- With Mikell 'off the board' I'm terrified Indy is going to settle on Melvin Bullitt at safety. I don't think he's the answer.
- I don't expect Indy to sign any significant free agents, unless you consider a veteran retread like Tommie Harris significant. We might see some veteran O-line help, but only as a stop gap for this year. I still dream of Weddle, but I fear that's not in the cards.