The Indianapolis Colts enter an offseason of uncertainty as several changes are going to be made throughout the front office, coaching staff and roster in 2023.
It’s a pivotal offseason for the franchise as they seem to be stuck in the middle of a rebuilding and retooling phase. They have quality players—even some elites on the right day—but the holes throughout the roster have made it difficult to compete consistently.
With this offseason just beginning, here’s a look at seven questions the Colts face:
Who will be the head coach?
This is the biggest question currently hitting the Colts at the moment and the top priority. We can talk about draft prospects and free agents all we want, but it won’t matter until they find a head coach. The search has gone on for three weeks now. They interviewed 13 candidates in the first round and have eight finalists for the vacancy as it currently stands. We should know soon who will be the next head coach, but this is the first order of business that needs to take place.
What does the future hold for Matt Ryan?
It was a disappointing result all around for Ryan and the Colts. They were hoping he would have a Philip-Rivers-like effect on the offense, and he was hoping to revive his career with a strong run game and stable offensive line. Neither of those came to fruition, and Ryan looked like a fish out of water. Still under contract through next season, the Colts need to clear some cap space. They can do so by releasing Ryan, which also would allow him to choose his next destination.
Which players will be cap casualties?
Piggybacking off the last slide, the Colts have other players outside of Ryan who could be salary-cap casualties. The first that comes to mind is cornerback Kenny Moore II. The beloved cornerback’s time with the Colts may be at an end. Frustrations grew with his role as did his poor performance in a new defensive scheme. The Colts could trade (or cut) Moore this offseason without incurring any dead cap, and it would save them roughly $7.5 million against the cap. Other notable players who could be cap casualties include quarterback Nick Foles, tight end Mo Alie-Cox and center Ryan Kelly.
Which free agents will be re-signed?
The Colts don’t have a massive group of players hitting free agency this offseason, but there are some notable names. Wide receivers Parris Campbell and Ashton Dulin are both unrestricted free agents while linebacker Bobby Okereke and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue also are set to hit the market. It will be interesting to see how the Colts navigate those waters with the limited cap space (at the moment).
Who will get extensions?
While there are a number of players hitting free agency, there also are a few notable players eligible for contract extensions. The two big names right off the bat are running back Jonathan Taylor and wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr., the crown jewels of the 2020 draft class. The salary cap is only going to increase in the coming years, which means the market for these positions will increase as well. If these players are part of the future, it may be best to get those contracts in now, especially with a potential rookie quarterback joining the mix.
What will the Colts do at No. 4?
The most popular question of the offseason, of course, pertains to the 2023 NFL draft. The Colts currently hold the No. 4 overall pick and have the chance to take one of the four quarterbacks in this class seemingly worthy of a first-round selection. They also could trade up to No. 1 with the Chicago Bears to ensure they get the prospect they want. Regardless, it’s highly likely they walk away with a quarterback.
Will Bubba Ventrone be back?
We can assume that the majority of the 2022 coaching staff won’t be back with the team moving forward. Either they will follow Frank Reich to Carolina or find jobs elsewhere. Ventrone is an intriguing candidate to stay, though. He interviewed for the head coach job, and special teams coordinator is sometimes the one coordinator spot that can last through multiple coaching changes. It would be difficult to find a replacement for Ventrone considering the success he’s had.