Breaking down the Cap: Offense

With the draft and free agency quickly approaching, Colts fans (including myself) are already predicting and speculating on who could possibly join Indianapolis in 2013. 

But before we start predicting and wondering where the Colts will go, we need to understand exactly what the Colts are already paying for, and what the team's needs are. If you've been reading Olly Dawes' excellent pieces, you should already have an understanding of the holes the Colts have on both offense and defense

With that at our disposal, let's take a deeper look at the cap breakdown for 2013 (brought to you by Spotrac), finding out exactly what the Colts are paying for next season, and where improvements can be made. 

Quarterbacks

Andrew Luck- 1,394,909

Chandler Harnish- 480,000

Total- $1,874,909

After cutting Harnish earlier this season, the Colts resigned him to a future contract in January, a two-year, $1.05 million contract. There will also be a little over $34,000 in dead money from his original contract in 2013. 

As for Andrew Luck, the Colts will once again get a fantastic deal out of the rookie wage scale, as Luck won't count for more than about $3.4 million against the cap until 2016. 

The Colts don't need to add anything here, as it seems evident that they are looking to Harnish to be the backup for the future. They will likely bring in a body or two for training camp, but they shouldn't keep any more than the two necessary ones. I don't expect Drew Stanton will be re-signed.

Running Backs

Donald Brown- $2.72 million

Delone Carter- $661, 301

Vick Ballard- $516,140

Robert Hughes- $480,000

Alvester Alexander- $480,000

Davin Meggett- 405,000

Total- $5,262,441

The Colts signed Alexander and Meggett to future contracts in January, while Hughes was signed midway through the 2012 season to a three year contract. Ballard, Carter, and Brown are still on their rookie contracts, We  still could see Deji Karim, a return specialist, back in Indianapolis, but the rest of the position is taken care of. 

Wide Receivers

Reggie Wayne- $7.5 million

T.Y. Hilton- $616,750 

LaVon Brazill- $400,670

Nathan Palmer- $480,000

Griff Whalen- $405,500

Jabin Sambrano- $405,000

Total- $9,403,325

Wayne is the only veteran on the roster, and the rest of the young group is extremely low-paid. This is one position that the Colts can afford to add a big name. If they choose to add a #1-type of guy like Greg Jennings, Dwayne Bowe, or Mike Wallace, they'll likely be spending in the $10 million per year range. If they get a guy like Hartline or Amendola, $7-8 million per year is more likely. The team definitely shouldn't have more than $20 million invested in the position in 2013. 

Tight End

Coby Fleener- $1,213,082

Dwayne Allen- $702,826

Wesley Saunders- $555,000

Dominique Jones- $480,000

Total- $2,950,908

With two solid starters and two decent depth options, the Colts are set at this position. They're getting great value out of Allen and Fleener's contracts, a big reason why they have room to spend at other positions. 

Offensive Tackle

Anthony Castonzo- $2,182,117

Benjamin Ijalana- $1,103,317

Justin Anderson- $480,000

Lee Ziemba- $480,000

Bradley Sowell- $480,000

Total- $4,725,434

Offensive tackle is definitely an area where the Colts need to sign another starter. Whether that means re-signing Winston Justice or picking up a tackle in free agency or the draft, something needs to happen. Nobody by Castonzo is proven at tackle, and the Colts need to shore up the position. One option that has been mentioned is Sebastian Vollmer, who likely would cost $7-9 million per year. I would hope that the final roster isn't made up with more than $15 million committed to offensive tackle. 

Guard

Mike McGlynn- $1,725,000

Robert T. Griffin- $405,000

*Joe Reitz- $630,000

Total- $2,760,000

I list Reitz here, because he's an exclusive rights free agent for the Colts, and will most likely be offered a contract worth at least 630k (the third-year veteran minimum). But even if he's kept, the Colts absolutely need an upgrade at guard, whether it's via free agency or the draft. If they go to free agency, they need to look for an immediate starter, such as Andy Levitre ($9-11 million per year) or Louis Vasquez ($7-9 million per). I would not spend more than $13-15 million on the position overall, and that's dependent on how you list the tackles and guards. 

Center

Samson Satele- $3,866,667

It's unclear if A.Q. Shipley is a restricted free agent or an exclusive rights free agent (I've seen places categorize him as both, and which years count for his service in the NFL is unclear), but either way it shouldn't take much to re-sign the reserve center (one million or less per year). The Colts need to have something else besides Satele, but blowing a lot of money on another free agent center won't happen. I'd advocate for Shipley to give Satele some competition, and at worst, have a solid depth guy behind Satele. 

Overall, I would not spend more than $25 million or so on the offensive line in 2013. Of the $46 million in cap room this offseason, I would, personally, only use $20-25 million at most. There are simply too many holes on the defensive side of the ball to go without using a significant amount of the cap room on defensive side of the ball. 

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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