The exodus continues for the Super Bowl champions. This is why the Colts are consistently one of the two or three youngest teams in the league in terms of average roster age. It looks like once again this team is going to Peyton, Marvin, and a bunch of 22 year old kids.
I think the league needs to make the salary cap more flexible to protect teams that want to keep their superstars AND their role players. Perhaps make a rule that you get one player per team that doesn’t count fully against the cap. Your highest paid player’s salary would count only 60% against the cap. This wouldn’t affect most teams very much. But it would make a world of difference to the handful of teams who have a Michael Vick, LT or Carson Palmer. Call it the Manning rule. This rule would not completely close the spending gap (because every team would get one player to protect), but it would help signficantly and it would reduce the need for the constant re-working of the your star’s contract. It is ridiculous that Peyton has to spend 3/4 of his career on a team that can’t field a defense because they have the audacity to pay the best player in the league the most money. The Colts found these players, the Colts drafted them, the Colts developed them, but another team gets to benefit from all that hard work.
Bill Polian may need to draft the Justice League to keep the Colts in contention. In all seriousness this hurts, but the sky is not falling. No one is going to mistake Nick Harper or Jason David for the Flash. They are good but not spectacular players who will likely not fare as well elsewhere. Marlin Jackson and Kelvin Hayden should be able to step in and do fine, but CB depth is now officially an issue the team will need to address at the draft next week.
Indianapolis will have seven days, when the offer sheet is officially filed with the league office, to act on it. If the Colts match the offer sheet, they essentially assume the four-year deal that the Saints negotiated. Should the Colts decline to match the offer sheet, they will receive a fourth-round choice in this year’s draft as compensation.