The good news for the Colts is that the recent dumping of multiple veteran players with recognizable names creates more than $10 million in cap space.
The bad news is that, for the privilege of not having players like Peyton Manning, Dallas Clark, Gary Brackett, Melvin Bullitt, and Joseph Addai on the team, the Colts will trigger $38 million in empty cap dollars, according to Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star.
Known widely as “dead money,” the figure comes from bonuses and other guaranteed payments already made to players who are no longer with the team.
Though the CBA allows a team to spread dead money over two years even if the move comes before the June 1 salary cap Mason-Dixon line, the ability of the Colts to use that technique as it relates to 2012 and 2013 could be blocked by the fact that the moves technically came during the 2011 league year. (We’ve requested clarification from the league.)
And so the job for new G.M. Ryan Grigson and new coach Chuck Pagano continues to get harder. It’ll get even harder once Dwight Freeney is gone.
Meanwhile, owner Jim Irsay just fired the Polians again.
UPDATE 1:37 p.m. ET: League spokesman Michael Signora advises via email that the full $38 million hits the cap in 2012. If the salary cap is in the expected range of $120 million, that leaves the Colts (abacus engaged) $82 million to field a team this year.