Report: Salary Cap Expected to Increase to around $166M for Colts in 2017

BY Fansided and Luke Schultheis/FanSided via Horseshoe Heroes • December 13, 2016

According to USA Today’s Tom Pelissero, the Indianapolis Colts along with the NFL’s other 31 franchises will see the salary cap increase from $155.27M to $166-170M in 2017:

According to OverTheCap.com, the Colts are expected to have $45.5M of cap space next season with this increase already factored in, which is more than enough to add at least a big named free agent or two–if the team so chooses.

Oct 9, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson talks to owner Jim Irsay before the game against the Chicago Bears at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis defeats Chicago 29-23. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Specifically, a number of veteran free agents are coming off the books (with 2016 cap hits) including outside linebacker Trent Cole ($5.1M), outside linebacker Robert Mathis ($5M), outside linebacker Erik Walden ($4.25M), cornerback Darius Butler ($3M), and safety Mike Adams ($2.2M) in addition to the salary cap spike.

Not to mention, the team finally gets rid of former offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus‘ massive dead weight cap hit ($5.8M), as well as other departed veterans such as cornerback Antonio Cromartie ($3M), wide receiver Andre Johnson ($2.5M), and outside linebacker Bjoern Werner ($1.03M).

The team could also gain additional cap space by releasing veterans D’Qwell Jackson ($5.5M) and Art Jones ($5.15M)–the latter which seems like a foregone conclusion.

Among the notable 2017 defensive free agents (some of whom will assuredly be franchise tagged if a long-term deal can’t be reached with their current teams) are Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry, Cleveland Browns outside linebacker Jamie Collins, New England Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower, San Diego Chargers outside linebacker Melvin Ingram, Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Chandler Jones, and Carolina Panthers defensive lineman (and former Purdue Boilermakers standout) Kawann Short–all of whom could pique the interest of the Colts.

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