INDIANAPOLIS — When the NFL’s free agency signing period opened at 4 p.m. Tuesday, it was fairly certain that the Indianapolis Colts would be an active participant.
The Colts went into free agency with around $40 million of salary cap space in their back pocket. Indianapolis general manager Ryan Grigson, however, had indicated at the scouting combine that he wanted to be judicious in how the team spent that money.
There were plenty of unrestricted, restricted and exclusive rights free agents for the Colts to deal with. Just who would return from last year’s team was up in the air up until the signing period got started. Could Grigson and his player personnel staff make some deals or would he be forced to cut ties with a few veteran players?
As it turned out, Indianapolis re-signed cornerback Vontae Davis, placekicker Adam Vinatieri, running back Ahmad Bradshaw, defensive end Fili Moala, safety Sergio Brown and outside linebacker Cam Johnson.
Not returning is eight-year veteran safety Antoine Bethea, who signed a deal with the San Francisco 49ers.
The Colts also dipped into the free-agency pool from outside their own team by signing former Baltimore Ravens defensive end Arthur Jones to a five-year, $30 million contract. Jones will be reunited with coach Chuck Pagano, who was the Ravens’ defensive coordinator before coming to Indianapolis. Jones received a $5.5 million signing bonus.
While Grigson and Pagano wanted to bring back Bethea, his price tag proved to be too high. He inked a four-year, $26 million deal with the 49ers.
In order to keep Davis, the Colts went past the 4 p.m. deadline but finally got a deal worked out about 45 minutes later. He stays in Indianapolis with a four-year, $39 million contract that also includes a $20 million guarantee.
Vinatieri got his deal done earlier in the day, signing a two-year $5 million contract. Moala inked a one-year deal but the full terms were not released.