The Indianapolis Colts have remained relatively quiet to begin 2022 NFL free agency. But one addition Colts general manager Chris Ballard has made to the roster is cornerback Brandon Facyson.
Less than two days after reportedly signing Facyson, Colts insider Joel A. Erickson reported the cornerback received a one-year deal worth $3.84 million.
The Colts added Facyson just as the team traded fellow cornerback Rock Ya-Sin to Facyson’s former team — the Las Vegas Raiders — on March 16.
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Colts Address Lack of Cornerback Depth With
In the Ya-Sin trade, the Colts received defensive end Yannick Ngakoue in return. No draft picks were involved in the deal.
Cornerback Xavier Rhodes is also a free agent. That means the Colts are losing two cornerbacks, Rhodes and Ya-Sin, who each played more than 50% of the team’s defensive snaps last season.
Without Rhodes and Ya-Sin, the Colts had a hole at cornerback behind the team’s top cover man Kenny Moore. Indianapolis fills that void in the short term with Facyson.
Mike Garafolo of NFL Network called signing Facyson “a sneaky good deal.”
Facyson started nine games for the Raiders last season. He posted 13 pass defenses, 55 combined tackles, two tackles for loss, one interception and one quarterback hit.
Before joining the Raiders last season, Facyson played the first three years of his career with the Los Angeles Chargers. He has 115 combined tackles, 14 pass defenses, two forced fumbles, and an interception in 56 career games, including 13 starts.
Brandon Facyson to Start with Colts?
Adding Facyson allowed the Colts the opportunity to trade Ya-Sin for a pass rusher who has posted more sacks in every season of his career than what Indianapolis’ sack leader recorded in 2021. And with that trade, Facyson appears headed for a starting role with the Colts.
Indianapolis could still add another cornerback in free agency. The Colts also have to address strong safety as Andrew Sendejo is a free agent. But without a first-round pick, there was urgency for the Colts to add a starting cornerback following the Ya-Sin trade.
While Facyson’s deal is worth $3.84 million, Spotrac reports his cap hit will be $3.6 million. Kevin Hickey of USA Today explained that the cap hit is less than $3.84 million because of Facyson’s per-game roster bonuses.
But if Facyson plays in all 17 games this season, the Colts will have roughly $300,000 added to the cap in 2023.
Indianapolis remains in great shape when it comes to the salary cap. Spotrac reports the Colts have more than $41 million in salary cap space, which is first in the NFL, as of March 17. That’s $8 million more than any other team in the league.
In addition to signing Facyson, the Colts have re-signed three players — tight end Mo Alie-Cox, offensive tackle Matt Pryor and linebacker Zaire Franklin. With a three-year, $18 million deal, Alie-Cox signed the biggest deal of those three players.
Like Facyson, Pryor signed a one-year contract and will compete for a starting role in 2022.
The free agency tracker from Pro Football Focus rated all three re-signings for the Colts either “average” or “above average.”