The Colts have cleared some cap room for the coming year, announcing today in a press release that they’ve cut defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois. Jean-Francois, who had spent the last two seasons in Indianapolis, had two more years left on his contract with the club.
Jean-Francois, 28, parlayed a part-time role with the 2012 NFC champion 49ers into a four-year, $22MM pact with the Colts, who made him a starter and increased his playing time. Jean-Francois held his own in the increased role, ranking 26th out of 47 qualified 3-4 defensive ends in 2014, according to Pro Football Focus’ grades (subscription required). He also set new career highs last season with 34 tackles and three sacks.
Still, with a $6.125MM cap number for 2015, Jean-Francois wasn’t worth the investment for a Colts team that will create nearly $5MM in cap savings by cutting him. With annual prorated bonus figures of $625K on his deal, Jean-Francois will now count for $1.25MM on Indianapolis’ 2015 cap, as those bonus amounts accelerate to the ’15 league year.
The Colts already had a huge chunk of cap room available for 2015, and releasing Jean-Francois will give the team even more flexibility. According to OverTheCap.com’s data, Indianapolis is now armed with $40MM+ in projected cap space, which should give the club the flexibility to splash around a little in free agency, and to work out long-term extensions for core players like Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton.