Friday, March 14, 2014

Colts sign Wide Receiver Hakeem Nicks

The Colts made another big move today signing wide receiver Hakeem Nicks.  The contract is a one year deal worth $3.5 million with an extra $2 million available in incentives.  
This is an amazing deal for the Colts and one that has no downside involved.  The team has attempted to sign receivers for two years straight on one year deals and both have failed.  Neither Donnie Avery nor Darrius Heyward-Bey worked out and were large failures for the team.  Nicks is a much better player than either of them ever were in their careers.  

The deal should count $3.5 million against the salary cap and leaves the team with exactly $17 million available under the salary cap.  This still gives them plenty of room to continue to add impact players for the upcoming season and also gives the team a potential number one receiver for the future that just recently turned 26 years old.

Colts salary cap page updated

All contracts signed, including Phil Costa and Vontae Davis, are now updated and reflected on the salary cap page.  Our calculations show the team with almost exactly $20 million in cap space.

The new contracts by cap hits are:

Phil Costa
2014- $1.2 million
2015- $1.5 million

Vontae Davis
2014- $6.25 million
2015- $11.25 million
2016- $8.25 million
2017- $10.25 million

Arthur Jones
2014- $5.6 million
2015- $7.1 million
2016- $5.6 million
2017- $7.35 million
2018- $7.35 million

Sergio Brown
2014- $1.4 million

Fili Moala
2014- $1.4 million

Adam Vinatieri
2014- $2.25 million
2015- $2.75 million

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Hakeem Nicks to visit the Colts Friday 3/14

ESPN reported today that former New York Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks is scheduled to fly into Indianapolis this evening and will meet with the team tomorrow.  This shows that the team really was serious about adding a wide receiver like many had suspected and is moving quickly following Eric Decker's signing with the Jets.  

Nicks has reportedly been offered a one year deal for $4.5 million from the Carolina Panthers.  Of the teams interested in Nicks, the Panthers and San Diego Chargers, the Colts have the most cap room available and should be able to close a deal if they feel he's worth the price they'd have to pay.  

I assume we'll find out fairly quickly about Nicks and would expect to know if he does sign by Friday afternoon/evening.  The Colts generally move fast and don't wait to announce anything when they have a deal in place.  

Another player rumored to be visiting the Colts today is former Cowboys center Phil Costa.  Costa played 1 snap in 2013 and played vary sparingly in 2012.  He would presumably be a very low cost option at center if they do move to sign him.  

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Colts re-sign CB Vontae Davis

In a surprising twist, shortly after the market opened, the Colts re-signed cornerback Vontae Davis.  This came as somewhat of a surprise since the team let him hit the open market and it was reported just yesterday that Davis was near a deal with another team.

Vontae ended up signing a large contract, $39 million over 4 years.  Here's a few things we learned about Davis' negotiation and contracts through various media reports that surfaced today:
- Peter King reported that the team was negotiating a deal around $7 million per year prior to Sam Shields dictating the market at a higher amount when he signed his deal identical to Davis'.
- Adam Schefter reported that the New York Jets thought they had an agreement in place with Davis entering the free agent period.  This makes sense after PFT reported on Monday afternoon that Davis would sign with another team when free agency opened on Tuesday afternoon.

Bringing Davis back was a great move for the Colts.  He is a perfect fit for the style of defense the team wants to play and is still very young and should be right in the prime of his career throughout this four year deal.

Note: Contract details are still unknown at this time.

Colts sign DE Arthur Jones

Per Adam Schefter, Colts sign Jones to 5 year deal for roughly $6 million per year.

Arthur Jones was the teams' big and lone newcomer to sign with the team on the first day of free agency.  Jones is one of the top 3-4 defensive ends in the game and should add much needed help to the defensive line.  This signing, along with the addition of D'Qwell Jackson, should greatly improve the Colts' front seven.  Jones will add to a defensive line rotation that now includes Jones, Cory Redding, Ricky Jean-Francois and newly re-signed Fili Moala.

Needless to say, I'm a big fan of the signing and think Jones can make a big impact on the team moving forward.  Most lists have him commonly ranked amongst the top 20 or 30 best free agents in the NFL.

The official contract is 5 years and $33 million.  Like many other deals the team has signed there is a good amount of guaranteed money, but most of it is contained within the first two seasons.

Jones' cap numbers are as follows:
2014: $5.6 million
2015: $7.1 million
2016: $5.6 million
2017: $7.35 million
2018: $7.35 million

Free Agency begins

We'll update this post throughout the day as information become available.  The roster and salary cap pages are updated to reflect the latest signings as of this moment with all information available.

Here's the hottest rumors this morning:

- Arthur Jones is expected to sign with the Colts as early as today for $6-7 million per year
- Vontae Davis is being heavily pursued by the Jets and is not expected to return to Indy.

Update 1: Adam Vinatieri re-signs with the Colts for 2 years.  Vinatieri's deal is 2 years, $5 million, per the Indystar
Update 2: Aaron Wilson from the Baltimore Sun is reporting that Jones to the Colts is a "done deal" at 5 years and between $6-7 million per year

UPDATE 3: Colts sign DE Arthur Jones to 5 year deal for $6 million per year

UPDATE 4: Colts agree to contract with CB Vontae Davis!  Contract is rumored to be 4 years, $39 million.  Somewhat of a shocker here..

Update 5: Colts re-sign RB Ahmad Bradshaw to 1 year contract.

Update 6: One re-signing we missed was safety Sergio Brown.  The special teams ace re-signed earlier in the day.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Many questions present as free agency approaches

The 2014 free agency period opens tomorrow, Tuesday March 11 at 4pm est.  With just a little over 24 hours to go until the opening of free agency, The Colts have several big question marks still up in the air.

Here's some of the big questions fans have at this point:

Will the team re-sign cornerback Vontae Davis?
All signs point to yes but there's a big reason for concern here.  The cornerback market prices have skyrocketed thanks to extensions signed by Brent Grimes ($8m per year) and Sam Shields ($9.75m per year).  Davis is a better player than Shields and is a comparable player, but five years younger than Grimes.   It's highly likely he's now commanding somewhere between $9-10 million per year.  I have a feeling it'll get done and Davis will return.  The Colts have little choice but to bring back their #1 corner and will eventually cave to his demands before he hits the open market.

What about Antoine Bethea's future?
I have a feeling he's gone.  There's been very little information out there about him and I personally thought his play has been declining and he was a bad fit with the newly signed Laron Landry.  Hopefully the team realizes that they need a true Free Safety that can play the pass well.  Finding this player means letting Bethea leave in free agency.

Will Adam Vinatieri be re-signed?
I think this is where it gets interesting.  Adam Schefter reported that it appears he's going to hit the open market Tuesday and that he was still talking to the Colts.  I have a feeling the team is looking more towards the future at the kicker position.  As important as it is to have a quality kicker, the team could be looking at a longterm deal with someone like Steven Haushka, who is only 28 years old.  Another option is to bring in a rookie.  This strategy is risky, but would show that the team is looking to save money here and spend money elsewhere.

Who will the team sign at wide receiver?
Every big name on the open market has been linked to the Colts.  Eric Decker, Hakeem Nicks, and James Jones have all been tied to Indy through their own words.  Many media outlets have reported that the team is looking to add a veteran this offseason.

Who else will they go after in free agency?
The team needs a center.  They have a need at safety if Bethea is not retained.  They'd have a BIG need at corner if Davis is somehow not signed.  The defensive line was also gashed in the playoffs and could use a big upgrade.

My completely random prediction on free agent signings:
WR Eric Decker- 5 years, $38 million
DE Arthur Jones- 5 years, $30 million
C Brian de la Puente- 4 years, $20 million
S Chris Clemons- 4 years, $18 million
NT Terrance Cody- 2 years, $4 million