Colts Rumors

2023 NFL Cap Space, By Team

The start of June has served as a key NFL financial period for decades. While teams no longer have to wait until after June 1 to make that cost-splitting cut designation, teams pick up the savings from those transactions today. With a handful of teams making post-June 1 cuts this year, here is how each team’s cap space (courtesy of OverTheCap) looks as of Friday:

  1. Chicago Bears: $32.58MM
  2. Carolina Panthers: $27.25MM
  3. Arizona Cardinals: $26.68MM
  4. New York Jets: $24.79MM
  5. Detroit Lions: $23.72MM
  6. Indianapolis Colts: $23.39MM
  7. Dallas Cowboys: $20.48MM
  8. Houston Texans: $16.81MM
  9. Green Bay Packers: $16.57MM
  10. Pittsburgh Steelers: $15.73MM
  11. Cincinnati Bengals: $14.92MM
  12. New Orleans Saints: $14.27MM
  13. New England Patriots: $14.12MM
  14. Miami Dolphins: $13.9MM
  15. Cleveland Browns: $13.86MM
  16. Philadelphia Eagles: $13.85MM
  17. Los Angeles Chargers: $12.61MM
  18. Jacksonville Jaguars: $12MM
  19. Washington Commanders: $11.57MM
  20. Baltimore Ravens: $11.54MM
  21. San Francisco 49ers: $10.72MM
  22. Atlanta Falcons: $10.7MM
  23. Denver Broncos: $10.13MM
  24. Minnesota Vikings: $9.75MM
  25. Tennessee Titans: $7.99MM
  26. Seattle Seahawks: $7.94MM
  27. New York Giants: $3.82MM
  28. Las Vegas Raiders: $3.37MM
  29. Los Angeles Rams: $1.49MM
  30. Buffalo Bills: $1.4MM
  31. Kansas City Chiefs: $653K
  32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: $402K

The Dolphins gained the most from a post-June 1 cut (Byron Jones) this year, creating $13.6MM in cap space from a deal that will spread out the cornerback’s dead money through 2024. But the Browns (John Johnson, Jadeveon Clowney) and Cowboys (Ezekiel Elliott) created more than $10MM in space as well.

The Jets’ number is a bit deceiving. They are still working on a restructure with Aaron Rodgers, as the trade acquisition’s cap number — after a Packers restructure — sits at just $1.22MM. In 2024, that number skyrockets to $107.6MM. Rodgers’ cap hit will almost definitely will climb before Week 1, so viewing the Jets along with the other teams north of $20MM in space is not entirely accurate.

Minnesota is moving closer to separating from its $12.6MM-per-year Dalvin Cook contract. The team already created some space by trading Za’Darius Smith to the Browns. Cleveland, which is one of the teams connected to DeAndre Hopkins, added Smith and did so with help from its Deshaun Watson restructure. Watson was set to count $54.9MM against the Browns’ 2023 cap. That number is down to $19.1MM, though the Browns’ restructure both ballooned Watson’s mid-2020s cap figures to $63.9MM — which would shatter the NFL record — and added a 2027 void year.

Tampa Bay and Los Angeles sit atop the league in dead money, with the Bucs — largely from their April 2022 Tom Brady restructure — checking in at $75.3MM here. That total comprises nearly 33% of the Bucs’ 2023 cap sheet. The Rams, at more than $74MM, are not far behind. Despite the Bills and Chiefs — the teams most frequently tied to Hopkins — joining the Bucs and Rams near the bottom of the league in cap space, both AFC contenders also sit in the bottom five in dead money.

Colts, WR Breshad Perriman In Talks

Already playing for four teams since arriving in the NFL as a 2015 first-round pick, Breshad Perriman may soon have an opportunity to contribute with a fifth.

The Colts brought the veteran wide receiver in for a workout Friday, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter notes (via Twitter) the sides are in discussions about a deal. Perriman spent the past two years with the Buccaneers, working as a depth piece during the final two seasons of the team’s Tom Brady era.

Although Perriman, 29, did not make much of a statistical impact during the Bucs’ Brady period, he posted 500-plus-yard receiving seasons for the 2019 Bucs and 2020 Jets. The 210-pound wideout amassed a career-high 645 receiving yards with the Bucs in 2019 and added 505 for the ’20 Jets. The Colts have some questions at receiver after No. 1 option Michael Pittman Jr., and Perriman could be in play to become at least a second-string presence for the retooling team.

New Colts OC Jim Bob Cooter was with the Jets — as running backs coach — during Perriman’s Big Apple season. The Colts used a second-round pick on Alec Pierce last year and added multiple slot options — free agent Isaiah McKenzie, third-round pick Josh Downs — this offseason.

One of four first-round receivers the Ravens have chosen since 2015, Perriman did not work out in Baltimore. He missed all of his rookie year due to injury and totaled just 77 yards during an 11-game 2017 audition. A one-year Cleveland stay (2018) revealed some promise, and Jameis Winston‘s final Bucs season included a somewhat memorable finish from Perriman. The Central Florida alum closed the QB’s high-variance year with three straight 100-yard receiving performances. During the 2020 season in New York, Perriman finished second in Jets receiving yardage.

Tampa Bay continued to rely on its Mike EvansChris Godwin combination with Brady but also rostered Antonio Brown, Russell Gage and Julio Jones during the all-time great’s stay. While Brady connected with Perriman on a walk-off touchdown to beat the Bills in 2021, the backup receiver totaled just 277 receiving yards over the past two seasons.

The Colts let Zach Pascal walk in 2022 and did not re-sign Parris Campbell in March. Pierce is expected to remain their No. 2 wideout, with McKenzie and Downs in place to follow Campbell as inside presences. The team also employs backup/spot starter Ashton Dulin and third-year player Mike Strachan.

Colts Sign DE Genard Avery

The Colts will add some pass-rushing depth, bringing in veteran Genard Avery. The team announced the signing, which will send the sixth-year defender to a fourth team.

Avery, who played last season as a Buccaneers backup, will attempt to catch on in Indianapolis after spending 2022 with two teams. The Steelers signed him in March 2022 but moved on before cutdown day in August, leading to the Bucs taking a flier. Tampa Bay did not re-sign Avery this offseason. In a corresponding move, Indianapolis waived running back Darius Hagans.

A former Browns fifth-round pick, Avery has played both on the edge and as an off-ball linebacker. The Eagles used the 2018 fifth-round pick in the latter capacity in 2021, running him out as a 12-game starter. The Memphis product played 358 defensive snaps that season, making 43 tackles (four for loss) and registering a sack. Pro Football Focus ranked Avery 56th among regular linebackers in ’21.

In 2022, the Bucs reduced Avery’s workload (72 defensive snaps) but deployed him as a regular special-teamer. In just nine games, Avery logged 164 ST snaps. He finished last season on IR due to an abdominal injury. Avery, 28, picked up 4.5 of his career 8.5 sacks during his 2018 rookie year in Cleveland. During their Freddie Kitchens season, the Browns traded him to the Eagles.

Indianapolis has not re-signed Gus Bradley favorite Yannick Ngakoue, who led the team with 9.5 sacks last season. Ngakoue resides as one of the top free agents still available, but the Colts — as of now, at least — are prepared to give their young pass rushers more run. Kwity Paye and Dayo Odeyingbo are heading into their third seasons. Free agent acquisition Samson Ebukam, who worked as one of Nick Bosa‘s 49ers sidekicks last year, brings a cheaper veteran presence compared to Ngakoue. Avery will attempt to join this rotation.

Each NFL Franchise’s Richest QB Contract

The quarterback market has moved again this offseason. A year after Aaron Rodgers raised the average annual value bar past $50MM, Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson did so on long-term extensions. Overall, four teams have authorized the most lucrative QB deal in their respective histories this offseason. Two more — the Bengals and Chargers — are in talks about record-setting extensions as well.

On that note, here is the richest quarterback contract each team has authorized. Although teams like the Jets and Lions have acquired big-ticket contracts via trade, only teams’ extensions or free agency agreements will qualify here.

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

  • Jay Cutler, January 2014. Seven years, $126.7MM. $38MM fully guaranteed

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Carson Palmer, December 2005. Six years, $97MM. $30.8MM fully guaranteed

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

In trading this contract to the Jets in April, the Packers restructured the deal. Rodgers’ exit will still tag the Pack with $40.3MM in 2023 dead money.

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Carr’s second Raiders deal — agreed to in April 2022 — was worth $40.5MM per year. The full guarantee, thanks to the February escape hatch the team built into the contract, checked in lower than Carr’s initial Raiders extension.

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

Cousins’ 2020 extension checked in with a higher AAV ($33MM) but did not approach his initial Minnesota pact for guarantees.

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

  • Mark Sanchez, June 2009. Five years, $50.5MM. $28MM guaranteed

This was the former No. 5 overall pick-turned-TV analyst’s rookie deal, made possible before the 2011 CBA reshaped the rookie salary structure. Chad Pennington‘s September 2004 extension (seven years, $64MM, $23MM guaranteed) marks the top contract the Jets have authorized for a veteran QB.

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 5/24/23

The NFL’s mid- to late-round draft pick signings for today:

Indianapolis Colts

New England Patriots

Adebawore was a three-year starter for the Wildcats, functioning mostly as a defensive end in Evanston. Over his final two years at Northwestern, he totaled 9.5 sacks, 17.5 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, and four passes deflected. He isn’t a pure pass rusher or run stopper, but with explosive burst and disruptive strength Adebawore should be able to compete with Taven Bryan and McTelvin Agim for snaps rotating in behind DeForest Buckner and Grover Stewart.

Also a three-year starter, Andrews made the move inside from right guard to center for the Trojans as a redshirt senior. The Patriots don’t have an immediate need at center as David Andrews is under contract for another two years. The long-time Patriots’ starting center will be 32 when his contract expires, perhaps opening the door for the rookie Andrews to take over after a couple of years of development. In the meantime, Andrews’s experience at both guard and center provides New England with some depth along the interior offensive line.

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/24/23

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Denver Broncos

  • Waived (injury settlement): T Hunter Thedford

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

New York Jets

  • Signed: WR Jerome Kapp

Kapp will catch on with the Jets following a run at the team’s rookie minicamp. He will attempt to make the jump from the Division II level (Kutztown University). The D-II team relied on Kapp through the air last season; he was the squad’s only player to record more than 250 receiving yards. Kapp finished with 916 (19.5 per catch) and nine touchdowns as a senior.

Colts Sign TE Kaden Smith

The 2021 Giants ran into severe injury trouble in their blocking ranks, with tight end Kaden Smith joining Nick Gates and Shane Lemieux in sustaining career-altering setbacks. Smith missed all of last season but will soon have a chance to resume his career.

Smith agreed to terms with the Colts on Wednesday, adding to what has become one of the league’s most crowded tight end rooms. The former Giant has not played in a game since November 2021.

A knee injury paused Smith’s NFL run, with The Athletic’s Dan Duggan indicating concern existed about the blocking tight end being able to play again (Twitter link). This setback followed Gates’ September 2021 broken leg and Lemieux’s September knee malady. Neither O-lineman was ready in time for the start of the 2022 season, with Gates debuting in Week 8 and Lemieux playing only in Week 10 of last season. While the Giants kept both O-linemen on their roster, they waived Smith with a failed physical designation before last year’s free agency period.

Prior to the injury, Smith resided as a regular alongside Evan Engram. A former 49ers sixth-round pick, Smith started 22 games for the Giants from 2019-21. Complementing New York’s receiving tight end, Smith played more than 400 offensive snaps during both the 2019 and ’20 seasons. He caught three touchdown passes in 2019 but mostly functioned as a blocker in the Big Apple.

Making the Colts’ 53-man roster will not be automatic for the 26-year-old rebound candidate. Indianapolis carries Mo Alie-Cox, 2022 third-rounder Jelani Woods, 2021 fourth-rounder Kylen Granson, 2022 sixth-rounder Andrew Ogletree, rookie fifth-rounder Will Mallory and free agent pickup Pharaoh Brown. Ogletree suffered a torn ACL during training camp last year. Of this group, only Brown and Mallory arrived under the current coaching staff. Smith will join that contingent and vie for a job in Indy in the coming weeks.

Colts’ Jonathan Taylor Changes Agents

Now extension-eligible, Jonathan Taylor is putting pieces in place ahead of a contract year. The Colts running back changed representation Wednesday and will now work with the First Round Management agency, Ian Rapoport of tweets.

Taylor, who will be repped by Malki Kawa and Ethan Lock, became eligible for a new deal in January. The former second-round pick joined an agency that includes teammate Shaquille Leonard and Browns tight end David Njoku. Both players signed lucrative extensions in the early 2020s, with Leonard’s deal still second among off-ball linebackers.

The Colts have done well to take care of their own under GM Chris Ballard. They have authorized extensions for Leonard, Kenny Moore, Ryan Kelly, Braden Smith, Quenton Nelson. Both Leonard and Nelson broke their respective positions’ AAV records when they agreed to terms. Taylor’s April comments regarding an extension did not reveal a potentially aggressive push was ahead, but running backs have narrower windows to cash in compared to players at most other positions.

Coming off a down year — due to an ankle injury that required offseason surgery — Taylor still has an All-Pro nod on his resume and won the rushing title by a wide margin two seasons ago. The Wisconsin product’s 1,811 rushing yards in 2021 led the league by more than 500, putting him squarely on the radar for a big-ticket extension. The Colts carried veteran-QB salaries in 2021 and ’22, and although they have some Matt Ryan dead money following that short-term partnership, the franchise has shifted away from pricier passers. Anthony Richardson will soon be under contract through 2026, with a fifth-year option in place.

Of course, running back payments have become more complicated in recent years. While the wave of late-2010s backfield deals largely burned teams, clubs have received better returns from early-2020s payments. Despite the eight-figure deals given to many 2017 draftees, this year’s free agency-eligible backs either received the $10.1MM franchise tag or settled for lower-end contracts. Among the latter contingent, only Miles Sanders scored a deal north of $6MM per year. Taylor displayed special abilities in 2021, but his 2022 slate (861 rushing yards, six missed games) shows the durability issues that cause hesitation from teams regarding extensions.

Indianapolis has both Taylor and top wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. entering contract years. The 2024 franchise tag will be an option for one of the two, and the running back tag will be much cheaper. Teams utilized that tool this year, with Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs and Tony Pollard tied to tags. Less than a year away from that potential reality, Taylor has new representation to navigate this rocky terrain.

Latest On Colts Investigation Into Commanders’ Andrew Luck Inquiry

Earlier this month, the prospect of tampering charges being levied against the Commanders for their potential interest in Andrew Luck in the 2022 offseason was raised. Now, however, no further action appears set to take place.

Washington reportedly showed interest in the former Colts quarterback last offseason as part of their attempt to land a veteran passer, an effort which ultimately yielded a trade for Carson Wentz. With Luck still under contract to Indianapolis, though, they would need to be made aware of any conversations interested teams had in bringing the former No. 1 pick out of retirement.

The Colts began an investigation into the specifics of conversations Washington had regarding Luck, though it was reported almost immediately thereafter that no one from the Commanders made any direct contact with him. Despite a very public response from Colts owner Jim Irsay on the situation, it was thus expected that little (if anything) would come of the matter with respect to league discipline.

Indeed, Mark Maske and Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post report that a lack of hard evidence tying the Commanders to Luck means this situation is likely to “fade away.” That represents a stark contrast to recent history on the tampering front; the Dolphins were docked a first- and third-round pick among other punishments last year for inappropriate negotiations with Tom Brady and Sean Payton, while the Cardinals and Eagles worked out a swap of draft picks to resolve the process by which Jonathan Gannon became Arizona’s head coach.

Despite the fact that the league “does not appear” to have investigated the Luck situation, per the Post, ESPN’s Stephen Holder notes that the Colts are now satisfied with the matter. Holder confirms that the Commanders “never spoke to Luck or anyone in his immediate circle,” meaning no violation of the league’s anti-tampering policy occurred.

With Luck still fully expected to remain retired, as he has been since 2019, this situation coming to a close without further incident will allow both teams to move forward in their chosen directions under center. With Wentz having been released, the Commanders have committed to 2022 fifth-rounder Sam Howell as their starter, while the Colts believe they have their long-term answer at the position in the form of Anthony Richardson, selected fourth overall in this year’s draft.

Poll: Which Team Has Improved Most This Offseason?

Although several starter-caliber veterans remain unsigned, NFL teams have largely taken their big swings this offseason. Be it through free agency, the trade market or the draft, franchises have updated their rosters in hopes of improving in 2023.

Any conversation of 2023 improvement efforts probably needs to start with the Jets. Thanks to the Sacramento Kings’ playoff advancement, the Jets hold major North American sports’ longest postseason drought — at 12 years. After missing on a few rookie-contract QBs in the time since their last playoff run, the Jets now have Aaron Rodgers. The six nationally televised games on Gang Green’s docket illustrate Rodgers’ impact on the team’s perception, and although the four-time MVP will turn 40 before year’s end, he has made the Jets a free agency destination of sorts. The team added ex-Rodgers Packer wideouts Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb, with those moves coming after the addition of safety Chuck Clark via trade.

As the Jets stands to be a factor in the one of the deepest conferences in recent memory, the Dolphins added Jalen Ramsey via trade and will pay Vic Fangio upwards of $4.5MM to run their defense. Miami will bank on Tua Tagovailoa health and showed faith in the oft-scrutinized passer by picking up his fifth-year option two months early.

The Ravens took their biggest steps yet — in the Lamar Jackson era, at least — to strengthen their receiving corps, keeping Odell Beckham Jr. from a Big Apple return (via a $15MM guarantee) and drafting Zay Flowers in the first round. The Browns bolstered their receiving corps as well, trading for Elijah Moore and drafting Cedric Tillman in Round 3. Cleveland also has now added two edge rushers — with Jadeveon Clowney not expected back — in Za’Darius Smith and Obo Okoronkwo to complement Myles Garrett. Cincinnati may have made the biggest outside addition in the AFC North, signing Orlando Brown Jr., though the team did lose both starting safeties (Jessie Bates, Vonn Bell) in free agency. The Steelers added two likely O-line starters, in Broderick Jones and Isaac Seumalo, and made changes at cornerback by signing Patrick Peterson and drafting Joey Porter Jr.

The returns from this year’s top AFC South headlines likely will not emerge until the mid-2020s, but the Texans, Colts and Titans drafted hopeful long-term QBs (C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson, Will Levis). Houston also gave up a bounty to move back into the top three for Will Anderson Jr.

Making Nathaniel Hackett just the third HC since the 1970 merger to be fired before his first season ended, the Broncos paid up — both in terms of draft capital and salary — to add Sean Payton. They also spent heavily to better protect Russell Wilson, signing Ben Powers and Mike McGlinchey. The latter will be Denver’s 11th Week 1 right tackle in 11 years. The Raiders added Tyree Wilson in Round 1, but the team’s Derek Carr-to-Jimmy Garoppolo transition injects considerably more injury risk into their equation.

Darren Waller going from Las Vegas to New York provided the centerpiece of the Giants’ hopeful pass-game upgrade, which includes a few midlevel wide receiver investments. The team added likely starters in cornerback Deonte Banks and center John Michael Schmitz. Dallas brought in Pro Bowlers Brandin Cooks and Stephon Gilmore via trade, and Mike McCarthy will dust off his play-calling chops after Moore’s Chargers exit. The Eagles drafted two more Georgia defenders (Jalen Carter, Nolan Smith) in Round 1 but lost Javon Hargrave and both coordinators.

Few position groups received more attention than the Lions’ secondary. The rising team added Cameron Sutton, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Emmanuel Moseley and second-rounder Brian Branch. This came after Jameson Williams‘ six-game gambling ban and after two first-round picks (Jahmyr Gibbs, Jack Campbell) receiving positional value-based criticism. While the Bears collected future assets from the Panthers in the Bryce Young swap, they pried D.J. Moore from Carolina and added two likely O-line starters in Nate Davis and Darnell Wright.

Carolina stopped its QB carousel with the Young move, and Frank Reich will be tasked with developing the atypical prospect. The Panthers also lured Ejiro Evero from the Broncos, despite Denver’s interest in retaining its DC. Though, the team’s receiving situation — now featuring Adam Thielen and DJ Chark — may take multiple years to fix post-Moore. The rest of the NFC South will also include new Week 1 starting QBs. The Saints made the second-most notable veteran quarterback addition this year — in giving Carr what amounts to a three-year, $100MM deal — and will hope this brings the QB stability Drew Brees‘ retirement stripped away two years ago.

While the 49ers lost another coordinator (DeMeco Ryans) to a head coaching job, they gave new DC Steve Wilks superior D-line talent via Hargrave’s $20MM-AAV deal. With the Colts taking Richardson at No. 4, the Seahawks doubled down on the recently re-signed Geno Smith by beginning this year’s receiver run with Jaxon Smith-Njigba at No. 20. Seattle also zagged from its Pete CarrollJohn Schneider M.O. by taking cornerback Devon Witherspoon at 5. This and the Dre’Mont Jones contract headlined a big year for Seahawks defensive investments.

What other teams deserve mention here? Vote in PFR’s latest poll and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section.