While the 2021 season hasn’t started, let alone ended, it’s never too early to look ahead in the NFL world.
After a free agency period where the Colts had more than $ 44 million in cap space, 2022 is another big year ahead for Chris Ballard and the Colts when it comes to cap space.
According to Spotrac, the Colts will have a cap space of nearly $ 94 million as of March 31 for the 2022 season.
That number puts them at the top of the league and could put Ballard in a position to hit big in the free hand in 2022.
In a recent Bleacher Report article highlighting the NFL teams with the highest free agent salary for free agent in 2022, B / R’s Maurice Moton singled out the Colts as one of five teams with the most money .
Granted, this doesn’t take into account future expansions with the likes of Quenton Nelson, Darius Leonard, Nyheim Hines, and Braden Smith to name a few, but even so, the Colts will have plenty of room to be active in the free agency should Ballard choose.
Top projected needs: WR, TE, DE
“Chris Ballard, general manager of Indianapolis Colts, headed into the 2021 off-season with cap flexibility. He made his biggest hit in a trade for quarterback Carson Wentz and went conservative in the open. $ 10 million deal for the most expensive free agent acquisition.
“Wentz will reunite with his former offensive coordinator and new head coach Frank Reich. Despite the signalcaller’s 2020 season, the Colts should advance in win-now mode with a playoff squad.
“With Hilton’s short-term deal, they’ve provided band-aid for their needs across the board, and they could address the position in the upcoming draft. But Michael Pittman Jr. is the only player in the group with a foreseeable future in Indianapolis. The club should add veteran aid in the next off-season.
“If the Chicago Bears don’t deal with Allen Robinson II, he should be high on the Colts wish-list for freelance agents. He would become Wentz’s point of contact immediately. The seven-year veteran is dwarfed.” 1,146 meters in consecutive seasons.
“The Philadelphia Eagles didn’t put a close end on Zach Ertz, despite the hype (Ian Rapoport of the h / t NFL Network) swirling around his name. Regardless of where he plays for the 2021 campaign, he’ll go public in 2022 We could see him reconnect with Wentz in Indianapolis.
“According to Stephen Holder of The Athletic, Indianapolis is in contact with Justin Houston. He will turn 33 in January. Even if the Colts re-sign him for a short-term deal, they’ll end up needing help on defensive Kemoko Turay will next off-season hit the open market, and Ben Banogu hasn’t established himself as a starter.
“The Colts should check out Emmanuel Ogbah, who had his best performance last season, posting nine sacks of career height. If he gets out of Miami, Indianapolis will have an opportunity to come up with a competitive offer.”
It’s no secret that Robinson remains one of the top recipients in the league and would be the big fish in the market again in 2022 unless he signed a long-term contract with the Bears or hit Franchise Day again in 2022. Despite Of the enlarged court, it’s hard to see Ballard Robinson, who would be 29 years old by the start of the 2022 season, throw the best WR money.
A possible argument with Ogbah makes sense for Moton. Ogbah is a tall, athletic pass rusher who has thrived after seeing regular snaps. Ogbah would also be 29 at the start of the 2022 season, but he has much fewer kilometers to go as he has played in a reserve role for most of his career.
Ballard and the Colts would be wise to continue to shop fiscally conservatively and make sure they lock their own boys up for the long term. After all, that is the key to building a successful franchise.
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