INDIANAPOLIS – Each week, readers of Colts.com can submit their questions to have a chance of them being answered in our Wednesday or Saturday mailbag.
Here is the collection of Wednesday questions:Isak H. (Mexico City)
Do you think Andrew Luck will Nowitzki (yeas, we can use Dirk Nowitzki's name as a verb) his contract to keep his teammates?
It sounds impossible to keep Luck, Castonzo, Fleener, Allen and Hilton at the time.
Bowen: I'm not trying to be the Webster's Dictionary for Isak but I will try and define 'Nowitzki' for me, and everyone else. Nowitzki, the future Hall of Fame power forward for the Dallas Mavericks, passed up much more lucrative deals from other teams last season to re-sign with Dallas and still allow the Mavs to add quality pieces. However, it's nearly impossible to compare the pending deal for Andrew Luck and the one Nowitzki just signed. Nowitzki signed his deal at the age of 36 where as Luck's deal will come 10 years younger and be just his second NFL contract. When Luck does eventually sign this anticipated deal, the structure of it will be what to really keep an eye on. On the surface, it does look a bit difficult to keep the names you mentioned above. That's where you have a lot of people believing the Colts might only be able to keep one of their two young tight ends. The Colts personnel department has definitely played out a multitude of scenarios regarding Luck's contract and are prepared to address that deal and the others you mentioned in the 2016 offseason.
Bryce Hart (Madison, IN)
I would like to know if we have released Josh Cribbs?
Bowen: Josh Cribbs was released on Friday, May 1. The release came the day after the Colts drafted Phillip Dorsett, thus finding a punt return replacement for the veteran Cribbs.
Jim H (Forest City, N.C.)
I have wondered for awhile how exactly an NFL player gets paid,is it weekly or monthly in season or yearly love to know. I'm looking forward to the 2015 season. GO COLTS.
Bowen: Jim, this is a great question. I know fans are always curious to know how the money breakdown works over the course of a season. Joel Corry of the National Football Post wrote a great piece on this back in the playoffs, so I will direct you there for a more in-depth read on the process. To answer your question, the players are paid weekly after each game.
Kim Hurst (Decatur, IN)
When will Colts scrimmage the Bears. I've had several people but haven't heard a date.
Bowen: The Colts and Bears will scrimmage at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center on August 19 and 20. That's a Wednesday and Thursday leading into the two teams meeting at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday, August 22 in Week Two of the preseason. Just a reminder that those practices at the Colts Complex are closed to the public.
Dave H (Sebring, FL)
EVERYTIME WE PLAY THE PATROITS IT'S SEEMS THEY HAVE OUR NUMBER? THEY COME UP WITH PLAYS THAT FOOL US! WILL WE COME UP WITH PLAYS THIS YEAR THAT WILL CONFUSE THE PATS AND GET THIS TEAM TO THE NEXT LEVEL?????
Bowen: Dave with the magic eight ball question as we are just a month away from Training Camp beginning in Anderson. Defensively, it's clear the Colts aren't looking strictly for deception in trying to become more consistent in 2015. It's all about communication for that side of the ball and making sure each level of the defense is cohesive, particularly when playing the game's elite signal callers. Offensively, that's where I see things getting really creative. With all the different personnel groupings Pep Hamilton can delve into, I see game plans being very diverse, week to week, for the Colts offense. New England's secondary has won recent matchups and that's an area where the Colts appear to have a definite edge (on paper) as we head into the 2015 campaign.
Stephen Dell (Abington, PA)
Do you think the Colts are serious Super Bowl contenders this year?
Bowen: To put it simply, yes, the Colts are "serious" Super Bowl contenders in 2015. From a general progression standpoint and what occurred in the offseason (throughout the AFC), the Colts deserve mention among the AFC's top teams. I've said this in prior mailbags, but I don't really see any team running away with the conference this year. The AFC North is extremely competitive, perhaps the closest division, 1-to-4, of any in the NFL. The AFC East was very active from the challengers behind New England. In the AFC West, Denver is getting acclimated to a new coaching staff. It wouldn't surprise me at all if records of 12-4 and maybe 11-5 were good enough to get a bye. I see the Colts being in that mix.
Ross B Turning (Ft. Wayne)
Last week, I asked to see the draft big board, and you answered that due to possible future transactions, it wasn't possible. Can we at least know who was Ryan Grigson's top player since that must be a guy who won't be cut or traded anytime soon?
Bowen: Ross, I love your persistence. Unfortunately, I don't think Ryan Grigson is going to reveal that any time soon. Just for fun, let's say the Colts had the No. 1 pick last year (although I'm not sure that would be 'fun' if it was based off record). One would have to think that Leonard Williams from USC would be the pick. Williams would give the Colts a prized building block up front. There would obviously have been no reason to entertain the thought of taking Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota. Take Williams, or maybe even a Dante Fowler, and you have a potential Pro Bowl front seven piece for years to come.