INDIANAPOLIS – One of the Colts best players from last season has been traded in a move built around thoughts for the future.
The Colts are trading 32-year-old cornerback Stephon Gilmore to the Dallas Cowboys for a Round 5-176 pick.
This trade also saves the Colts $9.9 million in cap space, the first of what could be a few cap savings move for the franchise this week (releasing Matt Ryan, which is expected, would save the Colts $17.2 million). The moves of Gilmore and Ryan would save the Colts around $27 million for this offseason.
It’s the cap savings that is the bigger return in this particular move by the Colts, although any future draft capital will aid if a trade up in the draft wants/needs to be entertained.
Compared to the first six years of the Chris Ballard tenure, this is a very out of the norm move—trading away a quality, respected player with the return being cap space plus a future Day 3 draft pick.
And it’s a bit of a reality of how those inside the Colts building are looking at this 2023 campaign.
There’s no ‘all chips in’ to this fall.
Gilmore was a very good signing by Chris Ballard last offseason.He proved to be healthy and a top corner, with several game-changing plays to close out the few wins the Colts had last year.
It was thought Gilmore (1,063 defensive snaps played last year) could be traded at last year’s trade deadline given the downward trajectory of the Colts season.
This trade is a good sign for the 2023 playing time potential of Isaiah Rodgers Sr. (430 defensive snaps played last year) and Dallis Flowers (174 defensive snaps played last year).
Does it also indicate Kenny Moore (773 defensive snaps played last year) will be back in 2023?
Moore, who had a disappointing season in 2022, has one year left on his contract. If the Colts were to part ways with Moore, it would save around $8 million in salary.
Brandon Facyson, who played 455 defensive snaps for Indy last season, has joined the Raiders in free agency.
Even before this, cornerback was a clear need for the Colts in 2023, even if Gilmore was still around.
That need is there in the short-term and the long-term, with the 2023 draft appearing to have some nice cornerback depth.
And the Colts are starting to build some more cap space.
Of course, how they decide to use that this offseason is anyone’s guess with the outlook for next year very un-Colts like.
Updated 2023 Colts Draft Picks
-Round 3-79 (from Washington)
-Round 5-162 (from Buffalo)
-Round 5-176 (from Dallas)
-Round 7-236 (from Tampa Bay)
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