From what I know: Colts aren’t expected to sign any of their own in-house free agents to extensions before the open negotiating period begins Monday. They’ll let all of them test the market, including T.Y. Hilton. But the focus won’t change: they want to bring some back.
— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) March 10, 2021
As Keefer already notes, that doesn’t mean that the Colts don’t want some of these veteran free agents to ultimately return, in a large free agency group that includes wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, cornerback Xavier Rhodes, defensive ends Justin Houston and Denico Autry, as well as linebacker Anthony Walker among others.
However, the Colts are content in letting each player test the market, and then seeing if the free agent’s garnered value aligns with how the franchise actually values them (and fits with their current cap space)—to decide whether a new contract even seems feasible on their end.
With the NFL’s salary cap now set at $182.5M, the Colts have around $47M of projected cap space to help bring some of their free agents back into the fold.
That being said, the Colts could look at other teams’ impact free agents to help bolster their roster as well—and have lucrative multi-year contract extensions to start planning for regarding Darius Leonard, Braden Smith, and Quenton Nelson on the imminent horizon.