Breaking down the Cap: Defense and Special Teams

Last week, I started to break down the Colts' cap situation, starting with the offense

Now, we move to the defense and special teams, to finish out this review. 

Defensive Line

Cory Redding- 4,391,667

Brandon McKinney- 1,150,000

Drake Nevis- 717,278

Clifton Geathers- 630,000

Kellen Heard- 630,000

Ricardo Mathews- 540,000

Josh Chapman- 533,878

Lawrence Guy- 480,000

Total- 9,072,823

It looks like the Colts are spending a decent amount here, but the top three linemen only played in a combined 23 games in 2012. Brandon McKinney could be a viable depth guy at nose tackle in 2013, and Josh Chapman has gotten a lot of hype from the team. At defensive end, Mathews, Nevis and Redding are viable options as depth/rotation guys at defensive ends, but the Colts eventually need starters all along the defensive line. 

However, I don't know that free agency is the best place to find those guys. Instead, I would look in the draft, where there are multiple viable options at the Colts' picks. 

Linebacker

Robert Mathis- 10,750,000

Jerry Hughes- 1,926,250

Pat Angerer- 882,500

Kavell Conner- 641,309

Scott Lutrus- 555,000

Quinton Spears- 480,000

Justin Hickman- 480,000

Mario Harvey- 480,000

Jerrell Freeman- 465,000

Jake Killeen- 405,000

Monte Simmons- 405,000

Shawn Loiseau- 405,000

Total- 17,875,059

The Colts' linebacker total looks big, as Mathis' cap hit in 2013 balloons after costing the Colts just over $5 million in 2012. But the Colts really aren't spending much on inside linebacker, with the three main 'backers (Conner, Freeman, Angerer) costing less than $2 million in 2013. The outside linebacker position is already costing the Colts a lot, especially with Mathis' large contract. But, OLB is an important position in this scheme, and it may still be worth splurging on another big contract. On the other hand, perhaps developing through the draft is a better option for this spot. 

Cornerback

Vontae Davis- 1,136,250

Sergio Brown- 630,000

Marshay Green- 480,000

Teddy Williams- 480,000

Total- 2,726,250

When you look at who is actually on the roster for 2013, it becomes apparent exactly how much the Colts need help at the position. None of the corners outside of Davis are even depth guys, but just special teams' bodies. The Colts need both a starter and a nickel cornerback at the very least. They'll almost certainly look in the draft for some guyes to develop, but free agency should be an option as well, especially when looking for a solid starter. 

Safety

Antoine Bethea- 5,750,000

Tom Zbikowski- 1,937,000

Joe Lefeged- 557,667

Larry Asante- 555,000

Delano Howell- 480,000

Total- 9,279,667

The Colts are paying Zibby and Lefeged nearly $2.5 million next year, but based on their performance in 2012, the Colts should look to replace them anyway. They do not currently have a future starter on the roster. Based on the available targets in free agency, and the multitude of options in the draft, I'd rather see the Colts' look for someone to develop in the draft (unless a guy like Byrd becomes available, which I doubt he will). 

Special Teams

K Adam Vinatieri- 3,400,000

LS Matt Overton- 480,000

Total- 3,880,000

Adam Vinatieri's contract is a little large for a kicker, and an aging one at that. But, it's the last year on his deal, and he's still got some clutch kicking left in him. There's obviously a punter missing on this list, and that punter should be Pat McAfee. The Colts need to do what it takes to get him to sign. There's no uncertainty here, get it done. 

Kyle J. Rodriguez

About Kyle J. Rodriguez

A film and numbers guru, Kyle writes about the NFL and the Indianapolis Colts for Bleacher Report, Draft Mecca and The Football Educator, and is a co-founder and associate editor of Colts Authority. Kyle also is a high school sports reporter for the MLive Media Group in Michigan, covering high school sports across the state.

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