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Mock Off-season 1.0: The Topical Stafford Trade

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Starting Cap Space: $64,887,114 (per Overthecap)


Extensions (No Impact on 2021 Cap)


LB Darius Leonard - 5 Years/$90 M ($48 M Guaranteed)

RB Nyheim Hines - 3 Years/$16.5 M ($5 M Guaranteed) 

T Braden Smith - 4 Years/$60 M ($28 M Guaranteed)

G Quenton Nelson - 6 Years/$93 M ($44 M Guaranteed)




C Ryan Kelly – Saves $6,757,500

TE Jack Doyle – Saves $1,367,500

DT Grover Stewart – Saves $3,133,333


Cap Space after Restructures: $76,145,447




Unrestricted Free Agents 

CB Xavier Rhodes - 2 Years/$17 M 

WR T.Y. Hilton - 2 Years/$18 M 

DE/DT Denico Autry - 2 Years/$13 M 

DE Al-Quadin Muhammed - 2 Years/$4 M 

C Joey Hunt - 1 Year/$1 M 

CB TJ Carrie - 2 Years/$5 M  


Restricted Free Agents 

WR Zach Pascal - RFA 2nd Round Tender ($3,422,000)

TE Mo Alie-Cox - RFA 2nd Round Tender ($3,422,000)

S George Odum - RFA Original Round Tender ($2,240,000)


Exclusive Rights Free Agents 

WR Ashton Dulin - ERFA Tender ($850,000)

DT Taylor Stallworth - ERFA Tender ($850,000)


Money Spent on Own Free Agents: $40,284,000

Cap Space Remaining (Top 51 Contracts): $43,961,447




Lions trade QB Matthew Stafford to the Colts for Pick #21, 2022 2nd Round Pick 

Stafford 2021 Cap Hit: $20 M 

Remaining Cap Space: $23,961,447


Free Agents


DE Carl Lawson -  4 Years/$34 M ($12 M Guaranteed)

Even tough the Colts have a lot of cap space in comparison to other teams, a lot of that will get eaten up by players they will re-sign. With around $24 M in cap going into free agency, they probably won't be able to make a splash with someone like Bud Dupree or Allen Robinson (possible given the cap situation of other teams, but I went forward with the assumption that guys like this are still going to make $15 M+). Lawson should be one of the cheaper options in free agency with guys like Dupree, Judon, Barrett, and Clowney on the market. Lawson adds youth (Lawson will be 26 at the beginning of the 2021 season) and speed (4.67 40 time) to the EDGE for the Colts. Autry and Houston have been solid DEs, but neither one of them is going to win on the outside with speed. Lawson had 6 sacks, 24 QB hits, and 34 hurries last season. He had double the amount of QB hits as every DE on the Colts’ roster combined. Also, his 34 hurries would have ranked first on the Colts this past season. Here's an article explaining Lawson's traits further: https://www.stampedeblue.com/2021/1/20/22239481/free-agent-film-room-should-the-colts-sign-carl-lawson-in-free-agency


T Ty Sambrailo - 1 Year/$1.5 M 

A budget option to add more depth at tackle. Played a bit for the Titans this year with the injuries they had along the O-line. Not a fantastic player by any means, but most likely an upgrade over Chaz Green.  


S Miles Killebrew - 1 Year/$2 M 

Fills the Tavon Wilson role on the team, while being 3 years younger. Played exclusively on special teams this past season, though has had snaps on defense in the past.  


Money Spent on Free Agents: $12,000,000

Cap Space Remaining: $11,961,447


NFL Draft 


Round 2 Pick 53: OT Dillon Radunz North Dakota State  

Colts need to fill the void left by Castonzo's retirement. Radunz played left tackle for North Dakota State and was excellent in the run game. Will need some development in pass protection. Has the athleticism to improve on his lateral agility on the edge.  


Round 3 Pick 84: EDGE Patrick Jones II Pittsburgh 

Jones doesn't have much versatility, but fortunately for the Colts, he is best suited at 4-3 DE.  Jones II had 9.0 sacks, 12.5 tackles for loss, three pass deflections, and a fumble recovery in 2020 as the starting DE for Pitt. Very consistent as a pass rusher and is a smart run defender. Needs to improve on his hand usage. Very strong chance he'll go much higher than Pick 84 in the draft, but I have him in this spot for now.  


Round 4 Pick 125: WR Anthony Schwartz Auburn 

Even with T.Y. Hilton coming back in this mock, he is getting older and probably won't be the vertical threat that he once was. Schwartz was a track star at Auburn and adds a home run threat to this offense, which is especially important with a big arm QB in Stafford leading the offense. I do have hopes of Parris Campbell becoming a key component as well, but even so, Colts need to add another dynamic WR in either FA or the draft. 


Round 5 Pick 164: TE Tre' McKitty  

Doyle will be 31 this year and neither him nor Alie-Cox offer anything in terms of a vertical threat. McKitty is a decent run blocker but could still use improvement. In the passing game, he moves similar to big WRs and is a smooth and fluid athlete. Fills that Ebron/Burton role in the offense. 


Round 6 Pick 201: CB Marco Wilson Florida 

The younger brother of Quincy Wilson, but appears to be a better player. Has experience in both the outside and at nickel. Long and rangy corner that has a lot of the athletic traits you desire in a CB. Hopefully he develops better than his brother at the pro-level. 


Round 7 Pick 245: IOL Drew Dalman Stanford 

O-line depth is very important, especially when Danny Pinter and Joey Hunt are the only real interior lineman off the bench. Has the instincts and technique to play C or G, though he is a bit undersized at 286 lb. 

Money Spent on Draft Picks: Roughly $5,000,000

Cap Space Remaining: $6,961,447



- I don't think anyone really knows Stafford's value at this point, but it will start with a first round pick and some sort of Day 2 pick. Given the state of our roster and opening left by Rivers' retirement, I do think the most ideal move is to go after Stafford. 

- I could definitely see Brissett coming back, but I left him out for now. 

- I would like to have Hooker back since he is from my dad's hometown, but I just don't think it's realistic. If he comes back on a very cheap deal to bet on himself, then I would like him back. Same with guys like Marlon Mack.   

- I like Justin Houston, but with his age and the money he could command, I figured it would be better to get younger at the position with someone like Carl Lawson. I think the Colts will pick between Autry or Houston on who comes back, and Autry gets the nod for his versatility and being younger.  

- If T.Y. does not come back, I expect them to make a run at Allen Robinson or Kenny Golladay. 

- I didn't address CB as well as I would have liked, and that could very well be a greater emphasis in the next mock. I think they would be fine at CB for now if Rhodes has a similar type season, though there is no guarantee he will be the same.  

- I didn't really replace Anthony Walker Jr with anyone since the defense primarily runs nickel packages. 

- I think the Colts need a young, receiving TE so that is why I moved on from Trey Burton. 

- I haven't really analyzed the draft too much, so some or most of the prospects might be unrealistic in the rounds I have the Colts taking them.  

- It's quite possible that the cap figures are wrong, so I apologize if they are. I was going my Overthecap and Spotrac for figures. 

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I think Patrick Jones II is currently seen as a late 1st, early 2nd kind of guy, other than that I like it for what it is. Beware of the incoming haters on the Stafford trade, but I think that might be what it takes, I'm thinking at least a 20211st but yeah maybe more. 


I could personally get behind Stafford if Ballard and Reich are really sure on him. 1st round picks are nice but they are no slam dunk. Werner, T-rich, Dorsett are some names we may have heard of. But I do understand it's kind of more than just a pick, it's an investment into the future. We'd be trading with the hopes of him being "the guy", but if he isn't then let's hope we figure that out before his contract is up. Those two years may also tell us what we have in Eason. Two years would not be much to have for the cost of a first, so it's risky but could certainly be worth the cost too. Stafford would probably be getting the best supporting cast he has had in his whole career.

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1 hour ago, DaColts85 said:

Stafford has a 32 million cap hit for next year. Where are you getting 20 from?


In a trade the team trading the player away has to take the hit on remaining bonus money.   


The numbers I have say he's a 33M cap hit for next year if detroit keeps him.  But 13M of that cap hit is bonus money that Detroit would have to pay.  Which means his cap hit for the team receiving him would be 20M for next year.

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1 hour ago, funktacious2 said:

I think Patrick Jones II is currently seen as a late 1st, early 2nd kind of guy, other than that I like it for what it is. Beware of the incoming haters on the Stafford trade, but I think that might be what it takes, I'm thinking at least a 20211st but yeah maybe more. 


I wouldn't sweat it. There are folks that are realistic that realize that without a player involved, the Lions will get a first rounder at least for Stafford. Like with Buckner for 4 years, giving up a 1st rounder for 4 years at least of quality QB play, if the Colts feel they will get it after their evaluation of Stafford, is a no brainer to me. 


If we are getting Carl Lawson in FA and are rostering Houston, Lewis, Turay and Banogu, I would rather go for a WR in Round 3. We might get a quality one then.  Also, a LB on Day 3 would be nice. 

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1 hour ago, Valpo2004 said:


In a trade the team trading the player away has to take the hit on remaining bonus money.   


The numbers I have say he's a 33M cap hit for next year if detroit keeps him.  But 13M of that cap hit is bonus money that Detroit would have to pay.  Which means his cap hit for the team receiving him would be 20M for next year.

Alright I appreciate the information. I was curious where the number came from. 

1 hour ago, Caleb3502 said:




Hit Cap Hit for 2021 on the team that trades for him will be $20 M and it will be $23 M in 2022. 

Appreciate the information and the link. 

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