With the NFL Draft in the books, teams across the league are beginning to take shape for this season. We can see the legitimate contenders and those with too many holes. Betting odds for the next Super Bowl champion have also been released. With the odds not likely to get better than this, now is the time to make a few future bets. While the Patriots will be an obvious choice while Belichick remains there, I think the Colts are the better value bet right now to win the Super Bowl. Here are three huge reasons why.
Andrew Luck is Back
With the return of Andrew Luck at the beginning of last season, there was optimism in Indianapolis. However, this came to a screeching halt, after the Colts began the season at 1-5. To say Luck was rusty would be an understatement, but we can certainly understand why. And after he was back to game speed and fully trusted his shoulder, the entire season turned around.
The Colts went 9-1 the rest of the regular season and were one of the hottest teams to enter the playoffs. Much of this success is because of Luck, who completed 70 percent of his passes during this stretch. They handled the Texans in the Wild Card round, before losing to the Chiefs in the Divisional Round, simply due to inexperience and lack of weapons. With a couple new weapons and Andrew Luck playing like a Super Bowl-caliber quarterback, the sky is the limit this season.
The Colts already have great, young talent that they can develop more this offseason, and they added even more talent to this roster. The front office knew they needed to give Andrew Luck more weapons, so they went out and got him two new receivers. The first is Devin Funchess, who really struggled in Carolina. However, he is a big body and still has a lot of raw talent that can be developed into a legitimate red zone threat to go along with the talented tight ends. The Colts also drafted Parris Campbell in the second round. Campbell is a burner and will offer Luck another big play guy, alongside TY Hilton.
After drastically improving their defense last season, the Colts remained dedicated to creating one of the most feared units in the league. They brought in veteran Justin Houston from the Chiefs, which brings leadership and talent to a young squad and intel from the team that eliminated them. The Colts also drafted seven players on the defensive side of the ball. With their first two picks, they took corner Rock Ya-Sin and defensive end Ben Banogu at 34 and 49 respectively. This commitment to the defensive side of the ball is what separates the good from great teams in January.
Cap Room Flexibility
Yes, the Colts have brought in playmakers for Andrew Luck and added to their terrific, young defensive unit, but this team is not finished yet. The estimated cap space, with all of the players they currently have, still sits at $57 million, which is by far the most, according to Spotrac. With this kind of money, they can aggressively fill holes on their team and bring in the best available talent.
But who is still available? On the defensive side of the ball, I could see the Colts bringing in any of these available players: Eric Berry, Nick Perry, Morris Claiborne, Muhammed Wilkerson, or Bennie Logan. Offensively, Andrew Luck could be gifted with any of these players: Pierre Garcon, Michael Crabtree, Jermaine Kearse, Mike Wallace, Bilal Powell, Alex Collins, LeGarrette Blount, or Dez Bryant, not to mention the AAF players that remain available. As you can see, there’s talent still available, and the Colts could easily sign three or four of these players.
This amount of flexibility in May makes the Colts extremely dangerous and one of the top teams in the entire league.
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