Sep 16, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay and general manager Ryan Grigson stand on the sidelines before the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis defeats Minnesota 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Indianapolis Colts: Ready to Spend on Free Agents

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Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts have a lot on their minds with the upcoming draft. What positions do they need? Who’s available through free agency? Who can they resign or franchise tag? They clearly want to make sure that they have the right personnel to make a run at the Super Bowl next year. With a few moves and gaps filled in they might actually be able to turn their dream into a reality.

There has been a lot of speculation about who the Colts will draft, but it looks like Ryan Grigson isn’t focused only on the draft. Grigson has recently brought in players from both the AFL and the CFL and also brought in a free agent. Last season they even went to an Australian Rugby player to find talent. Grigson does not seem to be confined by the box known as the NFL draft.

That’s not to say that he doesn’t draft well. A key pick up on his draft resume is obviously Andrew Luck. This season also saw the emergence of T.Y. Hilton and Coby Fleener who were

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

also picks under his watch. There’s no doubt that he will draft the best available players, but it’s also obvious that he likes proven athletes as well.

So who’s available for the Colts to sign? That’s difficult to say. Teams are still trying to work on contracts and some teams may even use the power of their franchise tag. The Colts may not be completely sure who will come back after testing the market. For example, if Antoine Bethea signs with another team then the Colts will have a pretty big whole to fill and it will probably need to be done with a veteran through free agency.

Do the Indianapolis Colts have the money to spend on all of these free agents? Absolutely! The Indianapolis Colts have $33.1 million dollars in capspace. That’s the second most in the entire NFL. That means that they can pretty much outbid any other team if they need to. Some of that will be saved to prepare for Andrew Luck’s big upcoming contract, but Grigson will need to spend as much of it as he can if he wants to take advantage of the capsapce he has now.

Soon the Colts will have to pay big money to Andrew Luck. If players like Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen, Vick Ballard and T.Y. Hilton continue to improve, then Grigson will have to pay them more money in next couple of years. All of these players are on their cheap rookie contracts. If the Colts want to make big moves to try to become true Super Bowl contenders, now is the time to do it.

Once you win a championship players will want to be on your team. They’ll want to play with a star QB. You won’t only be offering just money, you’ll be able to offer potential championships and that will give the Colts more leverage. To get that leverage they need to do everything they can to win one early with Luck.

The draft will be exciting to watch. Keep one eye on the draft and one eye on the free agents. March 11 will bring some excitement of its own. Once the Colts can start signing free agents, get ready to see some big and exciting moves.

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