Best and Worst Contracts 2016: Indianapolis Colts

Our picks continue in the AFC South with the Colts

Best: Mike Adams, 2 years, $4.3 million, $1.2M guaranteed

Adams certainly has been around the NFL playing with four teams over 12 seasons in the NFL, but the best years of his career have come at the end of it with the Colts. The Colts signed Adams as a minimum salaried player in 2014 where he became one of the better players for the season with 77 tackles and 5 interceptions. Adams was named to the Pro Bowl that year.

Despite his season the Colts used the age factor against him when signing him to a two year contract worth just a hair over $2 million a season. Of that figure over $1 million was tied to per game bonuses and no signing bonus was used to make up the guarantee. Adams was playing better than other 30+ players like Dwight Lowery and Michael Griffin who would sign a year later for slightly more money.

Adams went on to another Pro Bowl season in 2015 and while he has earned a few added dollars in incentives he is without a doubt the best bargain on the Colts roster. 

Worst: Dwayne Allen, 4 years, $29.4 million, $11.5M guaranteed

The Colts have done some downright silly contracts in the past with the likes of Laron Landry, Gosder Cherilus and others, but I have no clue what the justification was for this contract. Allen has accounted for 1,045 yard in his entire career. Not one season, a four year career. Allen is coming off a season where he had just 109 yards in 13 games. Those are not the kind of seasons that generally lead to a big payday in free agency, let alone one that lands you in the top 10 at the position when ranked by APY.

Even if the Colts see something that nobody else does I just don’t see the market that allows you to effectively bid against yourself for this one. Coby Fleener, who was more productive in this offense, came in at less. Jordan Cameron, who had higher highs, came sluggishly into free agency and didn’t get a deal this good. Dennis Pitta. Martellus Bennett. The list goes on and on for more productive players who signed for less. The closest comp might be Kyle Rudolph and even he had a far more impressive resume.

The lone benefit on this contract is that the entire guarantee is paid out in the first year and the Colts could move in in 2017 before his guarantee vests that year. I don’t consider that a big benefit since the franchise tag would have cost less and in this case it would have made more sense, in my opinion, to use the tag and then see what happened without Fleener on the team before making a big commitment.