Skip to main content

Four possible cap casualties for the Indianapolis Colts, including two quarterbacks

indianapolis colts
Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts are heading into what is the most pivotal offseason during the Chris Ballard tenure, and there are some tough decisions that need to be made. The team did not perform up to expectations last season and now has a huge decision to make at quarterback. And unlike previous seasons the team currently has a limited amount of available cap space, $12,230,976 million. 

This is by far the smallest amount with which Ballard has had to operate. Like every other NFL team, the Colts are looking over their books trying to find opportunities to create some cap space. The New Orleans Saints seems to be operating at a master’s class level, especially now that they just signed Derek Carr to a four-year $150 million deal.

In the past, Ballard has been able to do some financial gymnastics to create some additional money for the team to operate with. There are some players that could be candidates. However, Ballard will have to weigh the players’ past success, the financial implications attached to the player, and what, if anything, the player can bring to the team for the remainder of their contract. 

For example, a guy like Mo Alie-Cox has never lived up to what anyone thought or hoped he could be. He is set to make $4.8 million, with $2.39 million guaranteed. Subsequently, his dead cap number is $2.39 million and his cap space savings is $2.92 million. So, is the additional $2.92 million worth the Colts cutting him? 

Keep in mind that none of Andrew Ogletree, Jelani Woods, or Kylen Granson showed anything significant that would make you unequivocally say “they are the guy.” Aside from Ogletree, who was hurt, both Woods and Granson show some promise but neither one is considered a good blocker. So, it does make some sense to keep Woods for now. At least until after the NFL Draft.

Indianapolis Colts who are most financially appealing

matt ryan
Robert Scheer/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

In looking at the Indianapolis Colts roster there are four players that warrant being cut by the team: Matt Ryan, Nick Foles, Ryan Kelly, and Kenny Moore. All four of these guys are coming off bad seasons. In the case of Ryan, Kelly and Moore, it’s arguably their worst season. With Moore, his play hasn’t been the same since the Colts played in Las Vegas in 2021. Meanwhile, Kelly’s play has been on a subtle decline since the 2020 season. 

For both of these players, is their current trajectory something that will continue or can it be corrected and the players get back to their previous form? Then, of course, you have to consider their trade value. Might Ballard be able to strike a deal to acquire the first overall pick by including Moore in a package to Chicago? Could Philadelphia have some interest in Kelly if their long-time center Jason Kelce decides to retire?

PlayerBase salaryGuaranteed salaryCap numberDead money*Cap savings*
Ryan Kelly$9,125,000$0$12,375,000$4,500,000$7,875,000
Kenny Moore$7,495,000$0$8,166,875$0$8,166,875
*Trade Pre-June 1

Now, for Matt Ryan, a decision on him needs to be made much sooner. In fact, a $10 million roster bonus and an additional $7.2 million fully guarantees on March 17th. So, the Colts need to decide very quickly if they’re going to keep him on the roster or cut him.

PlayerBase salaryGuaranteed salaryCap numberDead money*Cap savings*
Matt Ryan$19,205,882$12 million$35,205,882$18 million$17,205,882
*Cut Pre June 1

The players who don’t make the cut

If the Colts do in fact decide to cut these four listed players they’ll almost triple their current cap space of $12.2 million.

PlayerBase salaryGuaranteed salaryCap numberDead money*Cap savings*
Matt Ryan$19,205,882$12 million$35,205,882$18 million$17,205,882
Nick Foles$3,500,000$1,500,000$3,600,000$1,500,000$2,100,000
Ryan Kelly$9,125,000$0$12,375,000$4,500,000$7,875,000
Kenny Moore$7,495,000$0$8,166,875$0$8,166,875
*Cut Pre-June 1

This would bring the Colts’ cap number to about $45.6 million and give the organization a lot more money to be aggressive in free agency. That is if Ballard so chooses. He’s not been one to be aggressive in pursuing the big-name free agents. 

And considering that Jonathan Taylor, Isaiah Rodgers, Grover Stewart, and Michael Pittman Jr’s contracts are just about up, he’ll need to work out deals to retain them as well. Or at the very least some of them. Colts fans will find out more information in the coming days as to how this team views its players and what positions they will be targeting in the draft and free agency.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: