How Small Is The Colts’ Superbowl Window Actually?
After acquiring Mat Ryan in the offseason Colts fans are breathing a sigh of relief, we finally are going to have a quarterback last more than one season, but how large is the window to compete for a Superbowl? This window may be way smaller than it seems.
Training Camp All-Time High
A week into training camp, everything is looking bright for the Colts. The secondary is playing well and players like Nick Cross are shining in it. Alec Pierce looks like an absolute unit and one of the biggest steals of the draft, Michael Pittman Jr is being great, and Parris Campbell is on the field. The biggest cherry on top of training camp so far is Matt Ryan running this team like the potential Hall of Famer he is, and quarterback play is essential in winning a Superbowl.
We Have The Quarterback
While needing good to great quarterback play to win or even make it to the Superbowl is a big deal, and the Colts will have that assured over the next two seasons, the window may only be this year, and it’s all in the salary cap. Matt Ryan is only hitting the Colts for $18.7mil this season but it explodes to a $35.2mil cap hit for the 2023 season (Matt Ryan’s final year of his current contract).
No team has won the Superbowl with a quarterback taking up more than 12.61% of the cap, and of course, the quarterback that that team had was none other than Tom Brady, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Other quarterbacks have made the Superbowl with a much larger cap hit % than 12.6%, Peyton Manning holding the record at 18.8% in 2009 (yes the Saints game) and Matt Ryan in second at 15.3% (also yes, 27-3) and with Matt Ryans cap hit nearly doubling next season this may be our chance until we bring in a younger guy.
The Window Closes, A Door Opens
As I said earlier, Matt Ryan’s 2023 cap hit is $35.2mil and a projected salary cap of $230mil brings his cap hit % to 15.3%, this looks really dicey for the Colts. Currently with his $18.5mil cap hit he’s taking up 9.2% of the cap putting the Colts in the perfect position to make a Superbowl run but it HAS to be THIS year.
Luckily I believe GM, Chris Ballard, has set the Colts up to continue to win after the Matt Ryan era comes to an end, but if Sam Ehlinger isn’t the future answer then pursuing a quarterback on day 1 or day 2 of the 2023 NFL draft is paramount.