Colts’ salary cap space update following early free agency moves

The Indianapolis Colts took several steps since the start of the legal manipulation period and the opening of free agency this week, all of which have had an impact on the salary cap.

While the Colts entered the week with about $12 million in salary caps, the moves they’ve made have added about $8 million in caps, largely due to the Release of quarterback Matt Ryan and the trade of cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

Those two moves alone added about $27 million in salary caps.

The first week of free agency is drawing to a close Colts are currently sitting with about $20.5 million in caps and $12.8 million in effective salary cap per over the cap.

The difference in effective salary cap space includes proposed rookie contracts, and with the Colts having a top-five pick in the 2023 NFL draft, the pool of rookie money for the new class will be high.

Even so, the Colts can still take some steps to free up a wealth of cap space.

The most obvious and expected move is the release of quarterback Nick Foles. He joined the team in 2022 because of Frank Reich, who is now the head coach of the Carolina Panthers. Its release will save about $2.1 million from the cap.

Meanwhile, the Colts They are reportedly considering trading or cutting Center Ryan Kelly. While that move would mean the Colts must find a replacement immediately, it would save the team $7.9 million against the cap regardless of whether he’s fired or traded.

Another candidate which supposedly could be moved is tight end Mo Alie-Cox, who signed a three-year contract during the 2022 offseason. Releasing Alie-Cox would save them $2.92 million against the cap while suffering a $2.39 million dead cap hit. However, trading it would save them the full $5.3 million.

There’s also the case of defensive tackle DeForest Buckner going nowhere. However, restructuring would be possible. Buckner has no more guarantees in the last two years of his contract. The Colts could convert his 2023 base salary ($18.75 million) and roster bonus ($1 million) into a signing bonus. Lowering his base salary to $1.165 million—the minimum for a seven-year veteran— would spread the remaining $18.6 million over the next two seasons, saving the Colts $9.3 million against the cap this season.

Also cornerback Kenny Moore II was the subject of trade rumoursand moving it would free up $8.17 million for the cap.

We’ll see what kind of moves the Colts have in store at the end of free agency week one and the start of week two as they have some big issues to work out even after their active start to the new league year.

Stay up to date with the News, signings and rumours via our free agency tracker for the Colts.

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Story originally appeared on Colts Wire

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