According to the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), the Indianapolis Colts had $6.614M of unused cap space in 2016 that can be carried forward to next year–beginning the start of the new league year on Wednesday:
Per Spotrac, taking into account the decreased projected 2016 carryover of $6.614M to their initial projection of $8.127M, it looks as though the Colts could have as much as $58M of cap space.
However, my research seems to indicate that such a cap number could actually be in fact a lot lower as it stands–namely at around $43.3M of cap room for 2017.
Oct 4, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay and general manager Ryan Grigson walk the sidelines before the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis defeats Jacksonville 16-13 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
It’s worth noting that the Colts could still free up some additional cap space by releasing a number of veteran players including Art Jones ($5.15M) and D’Qwell Jackson ($5.5M) among others.
Whatever the case may be, the Colts have the cap room to land an impact player or two in free agency–particularly on the defensive side of the football.
However, the team can’t necessarily go ‘hog wild’ with their salary cap room because the team still has to consider long-term contract extensions for some of its younger core players such as offensive guard Jack Mewhort and wide receiver Donte Moncrief–who are set to become free agents after next season.
Not to mention, other young promising defensive players like defensive end Henry Anderson and safety Clayton Geathers could be potential priorities a little further down the road after 2018.
The Colts also have a number of valuable free agents–namely safety Mike Adams, cornerback Darius Butler, tight end Jack Doyle, and outside linebacker Erik Walden, who the team could have some significant interest in re-signing.