Colts Rumors

Largest 2024 Cap Hits: Offense

The NFL’s salary cap ceiling was expected to see a large increase this offseason, but estimates proved to be on the low side. A record-setting jump resulted in a cap of $255.4MM for teams to work with.

That has resulted in new waves of spending at a few positions, with quarterbacks and receivers seeing continued growth at the top of the market. Last offseason offered a strong chance of the league seeing at least one $40MM-plus cap charge, but the Browns avoided such a scenario with a Deshaun Watson restructure. Owing to that move – and the lack of further adjustments this spring – however, Watson’s financial impact is set to grow considerably this season.

Here are the league’s top cap charges on offense leading up to training camp:

  1. Deshaun WatsonQB (Browns): $63.77MM
  2. Dak PrescottQB (Cowboys): $55.13MM
  3. Matthew StaffordQB (Rams): $49.5MM
  4. Kyler MurrayQB (Cardinals): $49.12MM
  5. Daniel JonesQB (Giants): $47.86MM
  6. Patrick MahomesQB (Chiefs): 37.01MM
  7. Lamar JacksonQB (Ravens): $32.4MM
  8. Trent WilliamsLT (49ers): $31.57MM
  9. Tyreek HillWR (Dolphins): $31.32MM
  10. Josh AllenQB (Bills): $30.36MM
  11. Cooper Kupp, WR (Rams): $29.78MM
  12. Taylor MotonRT (Panthers): $29.75MM
  13. Joe BurrowQB (Bengals): $29.55MM
  14. Deebo SamuelWR (49ers): $28.63MM
  15. Chris GodwinWR (Buccaneers): $27.53MM
  16. Jared GoffQB (Lions): $27.21MM
  17. Joe ThuneyLG (Chiefs): $26.97MM
  18. Geno SmithQB (Seahawks): $26.4MM
  19. Laremy TunsilLT (Texans): $25.86MM
  20. Davante AdamsWR (Raiders): $25.35MM
  21. Quenton NelsonLG (Colts): $25.2MM
  22. Kirk CousinsQB (Falcons): $25MM
  23. Jawaan TaylorRT (Chiefs): $24.73MM
  24. D.K. Metcalf, WR (Seahawks): $24.5MM
  25. Christian KirkWR (Jaguars): $24.24MM

Watson’s figure will shatter the NFL record for the largest single-season cap charge if no adjustments are made in the coming weeks. The hits for Prescott, Murray, Stafford and Jones also would have set a new benchmark if not for the Browns passer, a sign of the QB market’s continued upward trajectory. Cleveland is set to remain in a similar situation for the next three years as Watson plays out his fully guaranteed $230MM deal.

Prescott’s future is one of several important questions the Cowboys need to answer relatively soon. With CeeDee Lamb and Micah Parsons due for second contracts, an extension for the three-time Pro Bowler will need to take into account future commitments. While Prescott has considerable leverage (via no-tag and no-trade clauses), he joins Jones in facing an uncertain post-2024 future in the NFC East.

The latter saw the Giants make an effort to trade up for a quarterback in April and he reacted in an understandable manner. Jones’ $40MM-per-year 2023 extension remains the dominant storyline surrounding the team, and a decision on retaining him or moving on will need to be made prior to a potential out early next offseason. Murray’s performance this fall will likewise be worth watching; he has received consistent praise from head coach Jonathan Gannon, but he will aim to put together a fully healthy season following 2023’s truncated campaign.

Stafford and the Rams have a mutual desire to continue their relationship, but he is seeking guarantees beyond the 2024 campaign. The 36-year-old’s representatives have been in discussion on a resolution during the offseason, although even in the absence of one a training camp holdout is not expected. The likes of Mahomes, Jackson and Allen retain a place in the top 25, and the same will no doubt be true of Burrow for years to come.

Of the receivers listed, only Hill is known to be actively pursuing a new deal. The 30-year-old once led the receiver market with a $30MM AAV, a figure inflated by non-guaranteed money at the end of the pact. With the bar having been raised to new heights this offseason, Hill could join teammate Jaylen Waddle in securing a new payday. Since the team has a Tua Tagovailoa extension on the horizon, however, Miami could hesitate on the Hill front.

It come as little surprise that Williams tops the list for offensive linemen. The 11-time Pro Bowler has been mentioned in retirement rumors before, but playing to age 40 is now a goal. Meeting it could require future contract adjustments. Samuel’s future in the Bay Area was a talking point this offseason as the team attempts to keep Brandon Aiyuk in the fold. One of the high-profile wideouts may be playing for a new team for the first time in their career in 2025.

Elsewhere along the O-line, Moton and Taylor demonstrate the value seen at the right tackle spot in recent years. Given the developments of the guard market this offseason, though, the likes of Thuney and Nelson will have competition for spots on the list in future years. Similarly, the non-Hill wideouts could easily be surpassed in the future with a further additions set to be made (particularly by Lamb, Aiyuk and Ja’Marr Chase) at the top of the ever-increasing market.

Goff joined the $50MM-per-year club on his third NFL deal, whereas Cousins continued to add to his impressive NFL earnings by joining the Falcons. If healthy, the latter could prove to be an effective pickup for a team aiming to return to the postseason (while quieting questions about a transition to Michael Penix Jr. under center). Smith also has plenty riding on this season with a new Seahawks coaching staff in place which incrementally arrived at the decision he will serve as the starter in 2024.

2024 Offseason In Review Series

As training camps near, the NFL offseason is winding down. Many unresolved matters remain — much of them pertaining to quarterbacks and wide receivers — but teams’ rosters are mostly set. Leading up to Week 1, PFR will continue to add to its annual Offseason In Review series. Here is where our latest offseason examinations stand so far:

AFC East

  • Buffalo Bills
  • Miami Dolphins
  • New England Patriots
  • New York Jets

AFC North

  • Baltimore Ravens
  • Cincinnati Bengals
  • Cleveland Browns
  • Pittsburgh Steelers

AFC South

  • Houston Texans
  • Indianapolis Colts
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Tennessee Titans

AFC West

NFC East

NFC North

NFC South

  • Atlanta Falcons
  • Carolina Panthers
  • New Orleans Saints
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFC West

The NFL’s Longest-Tenured GMs

The NFL’s general manager ranks featured some key shakeups this offseason. One of the longest-tenured pure GMs in the game, Tom Telesco, lost his Chargers seat 11 years in. The Raiders, however, gave Telesco a second chance. He now controls the Las Vegas roster. Only Telesco and the Jaguars’ Trent Baalke reside as second-chance GMs currently.

Two long-serving personnel bosses also exited this offseason. The Patriots’ decision to move on from 24-year HC Bill Belichick gave Jerod Mayo a head coaching opportunity but also resulted in Eliot Wolf belatedly rising to the top of the team’s front office hierarchy. A former Packers and Browns exec, Wolf held decision-making power through the draft and kept it on an official basis soon after. While John Schneider arrived in Seattle with Pete Carroll in 2010, the latter held final say. Following Carroll’s ouster after 14 seasons, Schneider has full control.

[RELATED: The NFL’s Longest-Tenured Head Coaches]

The Commanders changed GMs this offseason, hiring ex-San Francisco staffer Adam Peters, but Martin Mayhew received merely a demotion. The three-year Washington GM, who worked alongside Peters with the 49ers, is now in place as a senior personnel exec advising Peters. Rather than look outside the organization, Panthers owner David Tepper replaced Scott Fitterer with Dan Morgan, who had previously worked as the team’s assistant GM.

Going into his 23rd season running the Saints, Mickey Loomis remains the NFL’s longest-serving pure GM. This will mark the veteran exec’s third season without Sean Payton. An eight-year gap now exists between Loomis and the NFL’s second-longest-tenured pure GM.

As the offseason winds down, here is how the league’s 32 GM jobs look:

  1. Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys): April 18, 1989[1]
  2. Mike Brown (Cincinnati Bengals): August 5, 1991[2]
  3. Mickey Loomis (New Orleans Saints): May 14, 2002
  4. John Schneider (Seattle Seahawks): January 19, 2010; signed extension in 2021
  5. Howie Roseman (Philadelphia Eagles): January 29, 2010[3]; signed extension in 2022
  6. Les Snead (Los Angeles Rams): February 10, 2012; signed extension in 2022
  7. Jason Licht (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): January 21, 2014; signed extension in 2021
  8. Chris Grier (Miami Dolphins): January 4, 2016[4]
  9. John Lynch (San Francisco 49ers): January 29, 2017; signed extension in 2023
  10. Chris Ballard (Indianapolis Colts): January 30, 2017; signed extension in 2021
  11. Brandon Beane (Buffalo Bills): May 9, 2017; signed extension in 2023
  12. Brett Veach (Kansas City Chiefs): July 11, 2017; signed extension in 2024
  13. Brian Gutekunst (Green Bay Packers): January 7, 2018; agreed to extension in 2022
  14. Eric DeCosta (Baltimore Ravens): January 7, 2019
  15. Joe Douglas (New York Jets): June 7, 2019
  16. Andrew Berry (Cleveland Browns): January 27, 2020: signed extension in 2024
  17. Nick Caserio (Houston Texans): January 5, 2021
  18. George Paton (Denver Broncos): January 13, 2021
  19. Brad Holmes (Detroit Lions): January 14, 2021: agreed to extension in 2024
  20. Terry Fontenot (Atlanta Falcons): January 19, 2021
  21. Trent Baalke (Jacksonville Jaguars): January 21, 2021
  22. Joe Schoen (New York Giants): January 21, 2022
  23. Ryan Poles (Chicago Bears): January 25, 2022
  24. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah (Minnesota Vikings): January 26, 2022
  25. Omar Khan (Pittsburgh Steelers): May 24, 2022
  26. Monti Ossenfort (Arizona Cardinals): January 16, 2023
  27. Ran Carthon (Tennessee Titans): January 17, 2023
  28. Adam Peters (Washington Commanders): January 12, 2024
  29. Dan Morgan (Carolina Panthers): January 22, 2024
  30. Tom Telesco (Las Vegas Raiders): January 23, 2024
  31. Joe Hortiz (Los Angeles Chargers): January 29, 2024
  32. Eliot Wolf (New England Patriots): May 11, 2024

Footnotes:

  1. Jones has been the Cowboys’ de facto general manager since former GM Tex Schramm resigned in April 1989.
  2. Brown has been the Bengals’ de facto GM since taking over as the team’s owner in August 1991.
  3. The Eagles bumped Roseman from the top decision-making post in 2015, giving Chip Kelly personnel power. Roseman was reinstated upon Kelly’s December 2015 firing.
  4. Although Grier was hired in 2016, he became the Dolphins’ top football exec on Dec. 31, 2018

The NFL’s Longest-Tenured Head Coaches

Following 2023’s five-team coaching carousel, this offseason featured a quarter of the jobs becoming available. One HC-needy team (New England) did not put its position on the market, promoting Jerod Mayo, but the rest did. The Patriots’ decision also produced the first shakeup among the league’s longest-tenured head coach list since 2013.

Since the Eagles fired Andy Reid, Bill Belichick‘s Patriots HC stint had run the longest. After a 4-13 season, the six-time Super Bowl-winning leader was moved out of the picture. No team hired Belichick, generating a wave of rumors, and only one (Atlanta) brought him in for an official interview. While Belichick should be expected to take at least one more run at a third-chance HC gig, Mike Tomlin rises into the top spot on this list.

Tomlin is going into his 18th season with the Steelers, and while he has surpassed Bill Cowher for longevity, the steady leader still has a ways to go to reach Chuck Noll‘s 23-season Pittsburgh benchmark. Tomlin, 52, enters the 2024 season 17-for-17 in non-losing seasons, separating himself from his predecessors in that regard.

Belichick’s ouster brought far more attention, but his Patriots predecessor also slid out of the HC ranks after a 14-year Seattle stay. Pete Carroll‘s third HC shot elevated the Seahawks to their franchise peak. No Hawks HC comes close to Carroll’s duration, and while the Super Bowl winner was interested in remaining a head coach, no team interviewed the 72-year-old sideline staple.

Belichick and Carroll’s exits leave only Tomlin, John Harbaugh and Reid as coaches who have been in place at least 10 years. With Mike Vrabel also booted this offseason, only eight HCs have held their current jobs since the 2010s. A few 2017 hires, however, stand out; Kyle Shanahan, Sean McVay and Sean McDermott have now each signed multiple extensions. Now riding back-to-back Super Bowl wins, Reid joined Tomlin in signing an offseason extension.

Here is how the 32 HC jobs look for the 2024 season:

  1. Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers): January 27, 2007; extended through 2027
  2. John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens): January 19, 2008; extended through 2025
  3. Andy Reid (Kansas City Chiefs): January 4, 2013; extended through 2029
  4. Sean McDermott (Buffalo Bills): January 11, 2017; extended through 2027
  5. Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams): January 12, 2017; extended through 2027
  6. Kyle Shanahan (San Francisco 49ers): February 6, 2017; extended through 2027
  7. Matt LaFleur (Green Bay Packers): January 8, 2019: signed extension in July 2022
  8. Zac Taylor (Cincinnati Bengals): February 4, 2019; extended through 2026
  9. Mike McCarthy (Dallas Cowboys): January 7, 2020
  10. Kevin Stefanski (Cleveland Browns): January 13, 2020; signed offseason extension
  11. Robert Saleh (New York Jets): January 15, 2021
  12. Dan Campbell (Detroit Lions): January 20, 2021; extended through 2027
  13. Nick Sirianni (Philadelphia Eagles): January 21, 2021
  14. Matt Eberflus (Chicago Bears): January 27, 2022
  15. Brian Daboll (New York Giants): January 28, 2022
  16. Kevin O’Connell (Minnesota Vikings): February 2, 2022
  17. Doug Pederson (Jacksonville Jaguars): February 3, 2022
  18. Mike McDaniel (Miami Dolphins): February 6, 2022
  19. Dennis Allen (New Orleans Saints): February 7, 2022
  20. Todd Bowles (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): March 30, 2022
  21. Sean Payton (Denver Broncos): January 31, 2023
  22. DeMeco Ryans (Houston Texans): January 31, 2023
  23. Shane Steichen (Indianapolis Colts): February 14, 2023
  24. Jonathan Gannon (Arizona Cardinals): February 14, 2023
  25. Jerod Mayo (New England Patriots): January 12, 2024
  26. Antonio Pierce (Las Vegas Raiders): January 19, 2024
  27. Brian Callahan (Tennessee Titans): January 22, 2024
  28. Jim Harbaugh (Los Angeles Chargers): January 24, 2024
  29. Dave Canales (Carolina Panthers): January 25, 2024
  30. Raheem Morris (Atlanta Falcons): January 25, 2024
  31. Mike Macdonald (Seattle Seahawks): January 31, 2024
  32. Dan Quinn (Washington Commanders): February 1, 2024

AFC South Notes: Zentner, Texans, Colts

Ryan Stonehouse‘s Week 1 availability for the Titans is in question. The record-setting punter is rehabbing ACL and MCL tears in addition to a broken bone, but he is hoping to recover in time for the start of the season.

If that does not turn out to be the case, the team’s other in-house option would by Ty ZentnerThe former UDFA saw time with both Tennessee and Houston last season, and he made five appearances after Stonehouse’s injury. Zentner averaged 46.5 yards per punt with the Titans, and he remains in place as a developmental practice squad candidate.

The 26-year-old has improved this offseason, team reporter Jim Wyatt writes. He adds, to no surprise, that as a result Tennessee is not likely to add another punter this summer. Zentner is on track to handle punting duties until Stonehouse returns, and his performance in training camp and the preseason will be worth monitoring with respect to if the team changes course and pursues a veteran.

Here are some other notes out of the AFC South:

  • The Texans have made a few changes in the front office, including the hiring of Steve Cargile. The former Patriots exec will hold the titles of senior personnel executive and assistant director of pro scouting, as detailed by KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson. Cargile bounced around the league during his playing career (2004-09) before joining the Patriots’ front office in 2021. It was learned this spring Eliot Wolf would not retain him, but the 42-year-old has not needed to wait long to find a new gig.
  • The aforementioned Wilson piece also notes that DJ Debick will replace Ronnie McGill as Houston’s pro scouting director moving forward. The latter’s contract was not renewed this offseason, paving the way for Debick to take on the role. From 2016-21 the Patriots employed Debick in their scouting department. That time overlapped with Texans GM Nick Caserio‘s New England tenure, and in 2022 Debick was hired as Houston’s assistant pro scouting director. Now, he will lead that department shortly after reuniting with Caserio.
  • The Colts recently announced that Joey Elliott has received a promotion from area scout to assistant pro scouting director. As Neil Stratton of Inside the League notes, Elliott’s tenure in Indianapolis (which began in 2017 and was preceded by a stint with the CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks) saw him receive recognition on the 2023 BART list as one of the conference’s top scouts. His performance to date with the Colts has earned him a move up the executive ladder along with added responsibilities in 2024.

Jaylon Jones, Dallis Flowers Vying For Colts Starting CB Job; JuJu Brents Likely To Start

An early-May report indicated the Colts could be in the market for veteran help in the secondary. Boundary cornerback would seemingly be the team’s focus here. In between the offseason program and training camp, however, no such signing transpired.

The Colts, who ranked 28th in pass defense last season, included slot ace Kenny Moore among their spate of re-signings but have questions about both outside cornerback posts. One of those spots looks to be earmarked for JuJu Brents, per The Athletic’s James Boyd, but the other position will bring competition (subscription required).

[RELATED: Nick Cross In Lead For Starting S Role]

Brents may not be a true lock to start, but the Colts chose him in the 2023 second round and used him as an eight-game starter last season. Brents was sidelined for two extended stretches, though he did suit up for the team’s final four games. Pro Football Focus slotted Brents 66th among corners last season.

Opposite the Indianapolis native, the Colts feature uncertainty. The team drafted two corners, selecting Jaylin Simpson in Round 5 and Micah Abraham in Round 6, but Boyd points to Jaylon Jones and Dallis Flowers as the primary competitors for the boundary job opposite Brents.

A 10-game starter last season, Jones worked with the first-stringers for most of the Colts’ offseason workouts. The team drafted Jones in the 2023 seventh round, and the Texas A&M product made the quick move into the starting lineup. Brents missing eight games and Flowers going down with an Achilles tear in early October contributed to this, and PFF ranked Jones 94th last season. He was charged with five touchdowns allowed. Flowers made five starts in two seasons, working behind Stephon Gilmore and the Isaiah RodgersBrandon Facyson tandem in 2022, but the Division II product was working with the starters each week before going down last year.

The Colts clearly believe in their current nucleus, as their batch of re-signings and extensions — headlined by the likes of Moore, Julian Blackmon, Michael Pittman Jr., DeForest Buckner and Grover Stewart — illustrate, but the team having employed Moore and still ranking in the bottom five in pass defense seems to point toward a deficiency at a rather key area.

Options are limited, as could be expected, weeks away from camp. Xavien Howard is not expected to be a Colts consideration, Boyd adds, due to the the civil suit that came up since his Dolphins release. Another potential option, Steven Nelson, retired after nine seasons. Adoree’ Jackson remains available ahead of his age-29 campaign, as does Gilmore, who will turn 34 in September. Patrick Peterson is also available ahead of his age-34 season.

Indy only has two non-homegrown players — Buckner and Samson Ebukam — projected to start (Moore technically counts, as a Patriots UDFA, but he was a Colt before his rookie season started). In the free agency era, that is obviously a rather low number. As of now, the team is preparing to roll out an entirely homegrown secondary. The Flowers-Jones competition may change that, but for the time being, Indy’s inward-focused plan extends to cornerback.

Nick Cross In Lead For Colts Starting S Role

Julian Blackmon spent a notable amount of time on the free agent market, but he ultimately re-signed with the Colts. Indianapolis has one starting safety spot locked up as a result, but the other is up for grabs.

Similar to slot corner Kenny Moore, Blackmon is a rare known commodity in the Colts’ secondary at the moment. The team has a number of options at both the cornerback and safety positions, many of whom are lacking in experience. At the latter spot, Nick Cross and Rodney Thomas II are the primary contenders for a starting position.

It was Cross who took the majority of first-team reps during OTAs and minicamp, James Boyd of The Athletic writes (subscription required). The 2022 third-rounder entered the league with high expectations, and he earned a start in each of his first two games during his rookie season. Between that point and the final two weeks of the 2023 campaign, however, Cross was relegated to backup duties.

The 22-year-old has primarily played on special teams to date, but he has contributed 56 tackles, one interception and two pass deflections on defense. Cross was replaced as a starter by veteran Rodney McLeod Jr. in 2022, but no such presence is on the Colts’ safety depth chart at the moment. Ronnie Harrison Jr. has spent considerable time on the backend in his career, but Boyd notes he is likely to remain in the linebacking role he took on with Indianapolis last season.

Thomas (a seventh-rounder in Cross’ draft class) has 34 appearances and 25 starts to his name. He has produced six interceptions and 10 pass deflections, but struggles in coverage have been a factor in his career as well. The 26-year-old has two years remaining on his rookie deal, and he could essentially swap roles with Cross with respect to third phase duties if the spring pecking order carries over into the season.

Indianapolis selected Jaylon Carlies and Jaylin Simpson in the fifth round of this year’s draft, giving the team developmental backup safety options. Several veterans at the position remain unsigned, however, and members of that group are not expected to cost much for interested teams. To little surprise, then, Boyd echoes previously-expressed sentiments that the Colts could be suitors for an addition capable of pushing Cross and Thomas for starting duties. Indianapolis currently has nearly $26MM in cap space.

Colts DE Kwity Paye Not Eyeing 2024 Extension Agreement

Earlier this offseason, the Colts elected to pick up Kwity Paye‘s fifth-year option. The ascending edge rusher is therefore on the books through 2025, and neither team nor player appears to be interested in working out an extension in the near future.

A report in May indicated the Colts have not engaged in extension talks with Paye, who has seen incremental improvement in production during each of his three seasons in the NFL. The former No. 21 pick is part of an edge contingent which also features the likes of Dayo Odeyingbo, Samson Ebukam and first-round rookie Laiatu LatuHis performance working alongside them will go a long way in determining his value on a second Colts contract.

“I’m excited that [general manager] Chris Ballard picked up my fifth year,” Paye said in an interview with Justin Melo of the Draft Network“I see it as a prove-it thing now more than anything. I want to prove that I’m what this team needs in a pass rusher moving forward. I’m going to get out there and get the sacks, get the production.

“After I do that, we’ll have those contract discussions next offseason. For the most part, I’m not really worried about that [in 2024]. I’m worried about having my best season yet. We’ll discuss all that other stuff next offseason.”

Paye, 25, has started all 43 of his games and logged a steady defensive snap share during that span. Further progress both against the run and in the pass-rush department would help the Colts’ defense (a unit which was already strong up front last year) as well as his bargaining power. Paye could make a case for a deal near the top of the edge market if he takes a notable step forward in 2024, especially if the salary cap continues to rise and Indianapolis remains committed to quarterback Anthony Richardson on his rookie deal.

The Colts are currently on track to sit mid-pack with respect to cap space next offseason, although plenty of things will change in that respect between now and then. Part of the team’s plan will be centered on whether or not a lucrative Paye commitment will be worthwhile, and he appears to be content letting his 2024 performance dictate his value.

Colts’ Alec Pierce, Adonai Mitchell To Compete For Starting WR Spot

The Colts have Michael Pittman Jron the books for three more years, and he is set to reprise his role as the team’s top receiver. Indianapolis has consistently made draft investments aimed at providing strong complementary options in the passing game, though, and a competition for a starting spot is on hand this summer.

Pittman inked a three-year deal including $41MM fully guaranteed after receiving the franchise tag. That pact is one of several major commitments made at the position around the league, but the Colts have a number of other pass-catching options attached to rookie contracts. That includes 2023 third-rounder Josh Downswho had a strong rookie season and figures to log a heavy workload in the slot moving forward.

The other perimeter starting spot is up for grabs. Over the past two years, it has belonged to Alec Pierce, but the 24-year-old has struggled to make an impact early in his career. Drafted in the second round in 2022, Pierce’s abilities as a deep threat have resulted in a yards-per-catch average of 15.2, but he has managed only 73 receptions so far. A more diverse workload could see him receive more targets, but the team’s latest rookie class includes new competition for a first-team role.

Adonai Mitchell is set to compete with Pierce for the WR3 role this summer, as detailed by ESPN’s Stephen Holder. The Texas alum enjoyed a strong season in 2023, making him one of two intriguing Longhorns wideouts in the 2024 class. Mitchell emerging as a key contributor during his rookie season could cut into Pierce’s impact in the offense, something which in turn would of course not bode well for his future in Indianapolis. Two years remain on the latter’s contract.

The Colts ranked 10th in the league in rushing last season, one in which quarterback Anthony Richardson was severely limited through injury. To no surprise, that resulted in a ranking of only 20th in terms of production through the air, something the team will look to rebound from with a healthy Richardson. Better output from the receiver spot will also help in that regard, and the competition between Mitchell and Pierce for first-team duties will be a key summer storyline.

TE Mo Alie-Cox On Colts’ Roster Bubble?

Mo Alie-Cox has spent his entire career with the Colts, providing the team with a consistent contributor at the tight end position. The veteran’s contract could put his roster spot at risk this summer, though.

Alie-Cox is attached to by far the most lucrative tight end pact on Indianapolis’ roster. The 30-year-old is entering the final season of his three-year, $17.55MM extension, and he is set to carry a cap hit of $5.92MM in 2024. With no guaranteed salary included, however, the Colts would save that full amount in cap space by releasing or trading him.

The team has a number of in-house options at the tight end spot as things stand. 2022 third-rounder Jelani Woods flashed potential as a rookie with three touchdowns and a 12.5 yards per catch average, but he missed all of last season due to hamstring issues. Woods has the potential to serve as Indianapolis’ lead tight end, and doing so could make Alie-Cox an expensive luxury on the depth chart.

For that reason, The Athletic’s James Boyd writes the Colts could elect to turn to younger options behind Woods and move on from Alie-Cox this offseason (subscription required). Indianapolis has recent draftees Kylen Granson, Andrew Ogletree and Will Mallory in the fold and all are on low-cost deals. Boyd adds a commitment to an inexperienced group could allow the Colts to remove the log jam by moving on from Alie-Cox.

The latter joined Indianapolis as an undrafted free agent in 2017, and he made his debut one year later. Alie-Cox has since served as a strong run blocker while chipping in as a pass-catcher. His best statistical stretch came in the 2020 and ’21 seasons when he combined for 710 yards and six touchdowns. The campaigns since then have included a downturn in production, but Alie-Cox’s absence would nevertheless be felt if the team were to cut ties.

Indianapolis currently has just under $26MM in cap space, so retaining Alie-Cox would be feasible from a financial perspective. Still, the presence of several other, younger contenders for roster spots will make his training camp performances something to monitor.