2013's NFL free agency begins at 4:30 p.m. ET on March 12 when NFL contracts expire. Until then, the only personnel action teams can officially take is negotiating with and possibly signing their own free agents.
By now, Indianapolis Colts fans are fixated on the magic number 43, as in the millions of dollars the Colts have to spend under the NFL's salary cap.
The NFL's salary floor returns in 2013. According to the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), teams must pay their roster at least 88.8 percent, $107.1 million, of this year's $120.6 million cap.
The Colts must spend at least $39.5 million this offseason, and some of that money will be spent in the next few months re-signing current players. It is unlikely the Colts will spend the mare's share on their own free agents, and Colts fans are geeked with anticipation to see who general manager Ryan Grigson decides to bring in with his fat bank.
The Colts have 14 unrestricted free agents with whom they must settle up by March 12.
I'll take a quick look at each of these players, including their current salary and minimum wage, and give my thoughts on what the Colts should do. I'll give each player one of four ratings: "Pay 'em whatever he wants," "Pay 'em if the price is right," "Pay 'em minimum wage" and "Let 'em walk."
As always, please bear in mind that I'm not the Colts GM and have no access to the War Room, so the heresies I speak here are entirely my own and may turn out to be as wrong as that fool in your NCCA pool who makes picks according to team mascots (and beats you).