General Manager Ryan Grigson didn't want to talk about it. Jim Irsay officially called it "cap hell" at one point over the last week. One increasingly inaccurate source said on Twitter the Colts had an unbelievable amount of cap space with which to work.
Either way, it turns out that the Colts are quite tight on cap space and will need more help to pursue any kind of substantial free agent help for a roster that has more holes than the Titantic has today sitting at the bottom of the Atlantic.
Pro Football Talk says the Colts sit at $11.6 million under the $120.6 million cap. That can obvious change if they decide to push some of the dead money into 2013 or if they manage to trade Dwight Freeney.
By my calculations, Colts have 18.2 million cap space, counting 1.5 borrowed money and 2.5 carry over.
Problem with PFT's number is, it contradicts their report from 02.28.
Can't emphasize enough, how much the Polians deserved to be fired. If only Bullitt isn't re-signed, Colts would have 5.7 million more cap space.
There's no guarantee that any of PFT's numbers are right, but it's worth noting that between 2/28 and now they got Mathis signed.
@pierrezombie Between 7 and 8
Just take a look at last year's contracts; they'll be about the same. (Spotrac is often wrong, but there's no real reason to doubt what they have for the slotted deals.) So Cam Newton, Ras-I Dowling, then after that it's really insignificant. Depending on how the bonuses and guarantees work out, Luck could fall anywhere from 4-6m, probably mid 5s, against the cap.
A 15-minute analysis using the information Colts Authority gathered last year shows that the Colts will have at least $36.5MM in dead cap (I've seen others cite that figure at $38MM), and commitment to active players at $57.8MM. This does not include anyone signed to a futures contract (e.g., Mike Tepper, Quan Cosby, Darren Evans), or UFAs whom the team has yet to re-sign if they plan to (e.g., Jamaal Anderson, Eric Foster, Ernie Sims). If they can move Freeney, that would save a good $14.5MM. They could then have ~$35-40MM, but with big needs at QB, WR, NT, S, TE, OL, CB, LB...
@LovinBlue The "official" figure will change depending on how you classify Manning ($16m dead against a cap with a 5.6m credit, or 10.4). Functionally it's the same, but people should make a habit of defining that when they list their figures. By my count, using 10.4, your number is just a tad high; I believe that's all from the Clark contract, which has too high a DM figure here.
It's good policy to eat as much dead cap as they can this year, and they will, but what's annoying is that there's still a big fat $5.4m charge sitting there from cutting Kelvin Hayden last year after June 1. That sucks. That alone is more than some teams (like the Eagles) carried total in dead money last year.
Clark and Brackett's contracts are good candidates to be designated as June 1 cuts if necessary; Doing so with Brackett would free up $4.8m this year by pushing it into the 2013.
If value can be signed by adding players at positions of need *that can be counted on to be peaking in 2013-15* they should absolutely spend money now. Otherwise it makes sense to just suck it up and eat the dead money now.