Pro Bowl cornerback Stephon Gilmore is one of the top remaining NFL Free agents with draft season getting going around the league.
Most figured the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year would have already signed a lucrative contract with the team. After all, the 31-year-old Gilmore remains one of the top cover guys in the NFL.
It’s somewhat of a surprise given that he had not been linked to Indianapolis thus far this offseason. However, Gilmore potentially signing with the Colts does make a ton of sense. Here’s a look at three reasons why.
Indianapolis Colts have the cap room to sign Stephon Gilmore
After trading Carson Wentz’s bloated contract and acquiring former NFL MVP Matt Ryan on the cheap, Indianapolis is flush with the fourth-most cap room in the league right now. The team has $21.7 million to spend against the cap and won’t have a huge allocation to the 2022 NFL Draft pool due to being without a first-round pick.
Sure Indianapolis has to sign star guard Quenton Nelson to what would be a record-breaking contract extension this offseason. However, said deal won’t impact the 2022 cap too much. In short, Indianapolis can afford to pay up to $10 million annually on a short-term deal to Stephon Gilmore.
Related: Indianapolis Colts 2022 mock draft
Indianapolis Colts have a major hole at cornerback
The decisioin to trade starting cornerback Rock Ya-Sin to the Las Vegas Raiders for Pro Bowl edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue earlier this offseason filled a major hole for the Colts. But it also created a major hole.
Looking at Indianapolis’ depth chart Brandon Facyson and Isaiah Rodgers are slated to start outside with Pro Bowler Kenny Moore in the slot. It’s a less than ideal scenario for a general manager in Chris Ballard who is in win-now mode.
Facyson started nine games for the Raiders a season ago. It was pretty much out of necessity. In the process, he yielded a whopping six touchdowns and a 94.8 passer rating. As for Rodgers, the former sixth-round pick from Massachusetts started just one game as a sophomore. While he gave up a lower 78.1 QB rating when targeted, this lack of experience should be seen as concerning.
Stephon Gilmore still has some tread on those tires
After being acquired from the New England Patriots in an in-season trade, Gilmore performed extremely well for the Carolina Panthers last year. He earned a fourth consecutive Pro Bowl appearances and proved that his advanced age of 31 wasn’t going to be a deterrent moving forward.
- Stephon Gilmore stats (2021): 16 tackles, two passes defended, two interceptions, 78.6 passer rating
Over the course of the past four seasons, Gilmore has not given up a passer rating of even 80. Sure there’s some concern over recent injuries, but signing the Pro Bowler to a short-term deal would make all of the sense in the world for Indianapolis. Whether it happens remains to be seen.