March is finally here and free agency is 13 days away. With the fourth most cap space in the NFL, should the Colts stay conservative or be aggressive in 2021?
The Indianapolis Colts are coming off of an 11-5 season and an appearance in the playoffs. Indianapolis is in win-now mode. Although the Colts have found their potential franchise quarterback in Carson Wentz, there are still glaring needs on this team. The Colts currently have 43.6 million in cap space, so they have the money to go out and spend money if they want. General manager Chris Ballard is usually conservative in the offseason, so what will he do this year? Here are some of the pros and cons of going aggressive in free agency this year.
Here are some pros about the Colts being aggressive in free agency. The Colts have now found their franchise quarterback, so it is now an attractive landing spot for free agents. The Colts need playmakers on offense and defense, especially defensive end and wide receiver. The free-agent classes for EDGE rushers and wide receivers are loaded this year, and much more talented in years past.
The Colts are usually conservative in free agency, but the time to win is right now and the time to go out and grab a star player on the market is right now. The Colts have the money to fill out the needs on their roster, as well as resigning key veterans from the 2020 roster such as Xavier Rhodes, T.Y. Hilton, and Justin Houston. Chris Ballard is one of the best talent evaluators in the NFL and he will make the correct choices in free agency this year.
This is the Colts’ time to win now, and it is not frowned upon if they go out and spend their money. There is one aspect that people are forgetting, which is that this year is the 2018 draft class’s last year on their rookie deals. Chris Ballard had a historic 2018 draft class. His first two picks were Quenton Nelson and Darius Leonard. At the rate that they are producing, Nelson and Leonard are on course to be Hall of Famers. These two are going to be the highest-paid players at their positions.
Along with Leonard and Nelson, Ballard also selected solid NFL players such as Braden Smith and Nyheim Hines. Smith throughout the course of his career has quietly been one of the best right tackles in the NFL. He is also due for a big payday. Nyheim Hines was one of the best offensive players for the Colts in 2020. He was an excellent dual-threat when it came to rushing and receiving, and he deserves an extension after his rookie deal is up.
The Colts have the money to go out and spend a ton of money, but a major con is that they have to save their money so they can pay their own guys.
Trust in Ballard
This offseason is one of the critical for the Colts. Chris Ballard could “put all of his chips in” and make a push for a Super Bowl, or he could stay conservative because he believes in his guys and he knows he has to pay Leonard and Nelson next offseason. Whatever happens, Colts fans need to Trust in Ballard, he knows what he is doing and he has this team heading in the right direction. With free agency upon us, Colts fans could be in for a treat this offseason.