The Indianapolis Colts are cleaning house, ushering in the Andrew Luck era with a barren cupboard. The NFL Draft's most highly touted prospect in some time will have even less to work with than last year's first overall selection did as a rookie.
Currently, Indianapolis has parted ways (or appear unlikely to return) key veterans in center Jeff Saturday, wide receiver Reggie Wayne, wideout Pierre Garcon, tight end Dallas Clark, running back Joseph Addai, strong safety Melvin Bullitt and inside linebacker Gary Brackett. Rumor has it that Dwight Freeney is on the trading block, too.
Currently, Indy's receiving corps is headlined by concussion-waiting-to-happen Austin Collie, Quan Cosby, Blair White, Jeremy Ross and Jarred Fayson. Exciting, huh? At tight end, Ryan Mahaffey and Chris Gronkowski round out the position's depth.
Andrew is going to need a lot of that in 2012!
Indianapolis doesn't have a right guard to speak of on roster, and their center position is rather thin, to put it nicely. Although, I have a feeling recently re-signed free agent Jake Kirkpatrick could surprise as a snapper, if he is granted the chance.
Luck has to be excited to be the first pick of the draft, but no one can convince me that he isn't nervous about how his career may begin with such a dearth of talent around him.
It is believed the Colts have $38 million in dead cap space for 2012, which is practically one-third of the projected $120 million salary cap. These moves free up approximately $15.5 million in the long term, but fans - and Luck - can kiss any '12 success farewell.
Indianapolis has a selection in each round of the upcoming draft, not including potential compensatory picks. There are not enough picks to fill the holes, and Indy is pretty much out of the running for anyone of note on the free-agent market. The 2012 season is over before it begins for the Colts.
On the bright side, if Luck pans out as expected, and Indy's new general manager Ryan Grigson is smart, Colts fans could be in for another decade-long run in the AFC South.
Year 1 will be all about getting Luck acclimated to the speed of the pro game and familiar with the playbook. My only fear is that he could be battered into oblivion by the time January rolls around.
To follow this situation with the best Colts analysis available, be sure to check out a close friend of KFFL.com, the Indianapolis Star's Phillip B. Wilson, whose blog Bounce it Off Phil B. is a staple in my daily reading. You also can follow him on Twitter @pwilson24.
About Cory J. Bonini
Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.
Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.
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