Indianapolis Colts General Manager Chris Ballard sure does know his way around the salary cap.
Ballard, entering his fifth season at the helm of the Colts, has the franchise in great shape over the next three years from a salary cap standpoint, according to a three-year analysis conducted by Pro Football Focus.
According to the three-year analysis, the Colts find themselves with the third-best salary cap outlook over the next three seasons, largely due to Ballard's tendency to refrain from spending big in free agency, instead locking up his own talent and building through the draft.
The Colts rank just behind the Denver Broncos and the Jacksonville Jaguars in the three-year analysis.
Here's what PFF had to say about the Colts' outlook.
The Colts have consistently found themselves atop of lists like these going back a few years. That’s great and all, but fans are probably starting to get restless for more playoff success following the retirement of former quarterback Andrew Luck. Credit to general manager Chris Ballard and company — they managed to navigate that situation admirably and even put up a great fight in their playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills last season with Philip Rivers under center. The Colts’ cap space has been earmarked for this offseason for a few years now, with Quenton Nelson and Darius Leonard aiming to blow the doors off their respective position markets via extensions. Both should be successful in doing so, and right tackle Braden Smith has earned an extension that won’t look too shabby either. Carson Wentz has no excuses; he needs to get this Colts team into the playoffs again and perhaps in every year of this 2021-2023 window.
While the fanbase has clamored for Ballard to be more aggressive in free agency, refraining from dropping major money on outside players and focusing on drafting, developing and retaining his own guys has Ballard and the Colts in an ideal position moving forward, specially with the league's salary cap expected to skyrocket in the coming years with the new TV deal.
Players such as Quenton Nelson and Darius Leonard will certainly break the bank and reset the market for the Colts and their respective positions which will eat up a sizeable portion of the Colts' future salary cap, but thanks to Ballard's masterful ability to manage the cap, the Colts are in a tremendous position moving forward.
Have thoughts on the Colts' salary cap space moving forward? Drop a line in the comments section below letting us know how you feel!