Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Indy's FA shopping list
By Tim Kavanagh
Unlike some other NFL teams that are struggling to get under the salary cap prior to the start of the league year by releasing highly priced veterans -- such as they themselves had to do in seasons past -- the Indianapolis Colts are in excellent shape when it comes to their budget for free agency in 2013. So where will they invest in the coming weeks?
Well, first, to the specifics: per the Indianapolis Star, GM Ryan Grigson has over $45 million with which to work against the projected salary cap. Some of that will be used to retain some of their own free agents -- WR Donnie Avery was singled out for praise by incoming OC Pep Hamilton, P Pat McAfee has done solid work and though CB Jerraud Powers may not have a starting role next season, he can be an important cog in the secondary nevertheless. But none of those players will be getting humongous deals, and there should be a sizable amount of cap space left to sign some top-tier talent.
Though it's a speculative list, Mike Chappell of the Star has some suggestions: Baltimore OLB Paul Kruger; OTs Jake Long of Miami, Branden Albert of Kansas City or Sebastian Vollmer of New England; safeties Ed Reed of Baltimore or Buffalo's George Wilson and Jairus Byrd; Pittsburgh WR Mike Wallace; CBs Chris Houston of Detroit, Aqib Talib of New England or Cary Williams of Baltimore.
Some of those players will be franchise-tagged or re-signed by their own club (Byrd is all but officially back in Buffalo, from what we've heard). But there are obviously some players that can make an instant impact on a team that outperformed expectations in 2012.