The Herald Bulletin

March 12, 2014

Colts quiet on free agency's second day

By George Bremer
The Herald Bulletin

---- — ANDERSON — Wednesday was relatively quiet for the Indianapolis Colts, as general manager Ryan Grigson appeared content to let the market settle on Day 2 of free agency before making his next move.

While the AFC champion Denver Broncos made headlines with the introductions of cornerback Aqib Talib and safety T.J. Ward and the addition of pass rusher DeMarcus Ware, there was little noise out of the Circle City.

NFL Media's Ian Rapoport confirmed the Colts are one of four teams that have made contact with Cleveland Browns center Alex Mack, but that is a complicated negotiation that could take some time to work out.

The Browns hit Mack with the transition tag before free agency officially began at 4 p.m. Tuesday. That guarantees the 28-year-old a salary of $10.039 million in 2014 and allows Cleveland the right match any offer from opposing teams.

The price tag is exorbitant for one season. The Carolina Panthers' Ryan Kalil and the New York Jets' Nick Mangold have the next highest cap numbers at the position at just over $7.2 million each.

Indianapolis must be careful with its cap outlay for future seasons. The team will need to work out new contracts for offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo, quarterback Andrew Luck, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton and tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen in the next two seasons.

The fact the league's salary cap jumped by $10 million this year and is expected to grow at a similar rate in the forseeable future will help. But there are many factors at work.

The Colts' level of interest in Mack is unclear, and the team would have to outbid at least four other teams for his services. Indianapolis is expected to add a center at some point this offseason after cutting two-year starter Samson Satele earlier this month.

The Colts also are believed to have interest in adding a safety and a wide receiver before training camp begins in late July.