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Blair White has been placed on waivers by the Indianapolis Colts, according to reports. He spent two years with the team after signing as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Michigan State before the 2010 season. White caught 36 passes for 355 yards and five touchdowns in his first year, proving serviceable in an injury-plagued receiving corps.
White caught zero passes in seven games played during the Colts' ill-fated 2011 season, however. He landed on injured reserve midway through November after struggling with a knee injury. White did prove somewhat useful as a return man for the Colts. Though he never shook loose--he had 17 return attempts for 102 yards in two seasons--that versatility could make White useful to another team also in need of receiving help.
The Colts continue to clean house on offense, having already let go of Dallas Clark, Joseph Addai and Curtis Painter since the season ended. Reggie Wayne still sits atop the receiving depth chart, but is now backed by Austin Collie, Donnie Avery and Quan Cosby.
If the consensus analysis and opinion is to be believed, the Indianapolis Colts will soon be bringing Andrew Luck to town. As the holders of the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft and a team that recently relieved superstar Peyton Manning of his duties, the Colts will absolutely select a quarterback as their first pick.
As such, it would be nice for the Colts to have a veteran QB presence on the team to act as a mentor or take some starts when needed. Mark Kaboly of the Tribune-Review reports that the team is interested in free agent quarterback Byron Leftwich to fill that role.
While Leftwich has acted as the backup to Ben Roethlisberger for the past couple of years, he would like to return to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers may not be able to retain his services, however.
The Steelers also want Leftwich to return to backup Ben Roethlisberger, however, the Steelers are only about $6 million under the salary cap and still need to address the wide receiver and running back positions in free agency, lock up receiver Mike Wallace long term and sign their draft picks.
Still, Leftwich might not cost the Steelers a lot. The veteran minimum for Leftwich would be $825,000, but would only cost $540,000 against the Steelers' cap. The Colts could offer Leftwich significantly more money as they are reportedly $10.6 million under the cap as of March 30.
As it stands, Indianapolis is able to offer Leftwich more money than the Steelers can. They also have offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who worked with Leftwich in three seasons as OC for the Steelers.
For more on Leftwich and the Pittsburgh Steelers, head on over to Behind the Steel Curtain or SB Nation Pittsburgh. For all news and information regarding the Indianapolis Colts, please visit Stampede Blue or check out SB Nation Indiana.
The Denver Broncos probably knew that if they were able to sign Peyton Manning, they'd also be signing a few of his friends. According to NFL Network's Jason La Canfora, free agent center Jeff Saturday is scheduled to visit the Broncos. Saturday was Manning's center in his last 12 years in Indianapolis and the idea of a "package deal" between he and Manning was thrown around.
More moves could be coming. La Canfora reports that Brandon Stokley, who had a previous stint with the Broncos, could be signed. Stokley played with Manning in Indy from 2003-06. Dallas Clark is another free agent who has spent his career with Manning. La Canfora floats him as a possibility as well. Another tight end, Jacob Tamme, played with Manning the last four seasons.
The Indianapolis Colts were active prior to the start of free agency releasing guys like Peyton Manning, Dallas Clark and Joseph Addai. Since free agency started, however, they've actually been adding players. They re-signed Reggie Wayne to a three-year deal on Tuesday and now they have reportedly inked DT Cory Redding to a three-year contract. ESPN's Josina Anderson reported the news.
Cory Redding joined the NFL as the Detroit Lions third round pick in the 2003 NFL draft. He spent six seasons in Detroit before moving onto the Seattle Seahwks for one season and then the Baltimore Ravens for two seasons.
The Colts are expected to be moving to a 3-4 defense under new head coach Chuck Pagano which means Redding would be a defensive end in that scheme.
The Philadelphia Eagles this offseason gave a contract extension to Todd Herremans, which made Winston Justice more expendable. The Eagles have traded Justice to the Indianapolis Colts for a swap of sixth round draft picks.
Justice was a second round pick in the 2006 NFL draft and earned one contract extension from the Eagles. He lost his starting job midway through the 2011 season and had one of the higher salary cap numbers for the Eagles heading into next season, so his departure from Philly isn't a major surprise.
The big news of the week in Indy won't be this trade -- it's Reggie Wayne returning on a three-year contract.
Reggie Wayne will return to the Indianapolis Colts on a three-year contract, reports ESPN's Adam Schefter. Wayne, 33, officially became a free agent at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, and the Indianapolis Star previously reported that the team wasted no time engaging in contract talks to bring back the 11-year veteran.
Wayne's production in 2011 was clearly effected by the carousal of backups attempting to replace quarterback Peyton Manning. After recording at least 100 receptions and 1,200 yards in 2009 and 2010, he finished last season with 75 catches for 960 yards. It was the first time since 2003 that he failed to top 1,000 yards.
With Andrew Luck's expected arrival on the horizon, the Colts were clearly determined to retain at least one of their top two receivers. Earlier Tuesday, the Colts officially lost Pierre Garcon, who agreed to a six-year, $42.5 million deal with the Washington Redskins weeks after reportedly turning down a five-year, $35 million deal to stay in Indianapolis. Garcon, 25, placed second on the team with 70 catches and 947 yards. He also led the team with six receiving touchdowns, two more than Wayne.
Last season the Colts were without future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, who was recovering from offseason neck surgery, and their record reflected it. The Colts went 2-14 and showed that they did a terrible job at supplying Manning with the players necessary to be consistently successful. And now that the team is going to be selecting Andrew Luck with the first overall pick in the draft, they've decided to let everybody go.
And I mean everybody.
The Colts have released Peyton Manning, who is now the top free agent in this year's class. Along with Manning, Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, Anthony Gonzalez, Dallas Clark and they're reportedly looking for a trade partner to deal Dwight Freeney. There's no question that this will be a rebuilding year for the Colts.
With all the money they're going to save by releasing all their best players, the Colts will have some money to spend. If they're going to give the keys to the franchise to Andrew Luck, they should at least give him some weapons and put him behind a top-notch offensive line. Guards Carl Nicks and Ben Grubbs will likely be available, but they may not want to sign with a team that is rebuilding. Either way, they'll likely look to the later rounds of the draft.
For more free agency updates, go to SB Nation's Colts blog, Stampede Blue.
The changes in Indianapolis continue as the Colts have reportedly released several players including Dallas Clark and Joseph Addai.
The Colts let go one high-profile player this week and they could do the same with another. According to reports, the Colts are listening to trade offers for Dwight Freeney.
The Indianapolis Colts on Monday applied the franchise tag to defensive end Robert Mathis shortly before the 4 p.m. deadline. But that was only a precaution. Mathis and the Colts were nearing a longterm deal and the franchise tag was put in place by the Colts just to assure themselves Mathis wouldn't get away.
The two sides finalized a four-year, $36 million contract, according to the Indy Star. That includes a $15 million signing bonus and a $24 million payout in the first two years.
Mathis is only 31 years old and has gas left in the tank, so this looks like a good deal. He plays opposite of Dwight Freeney so he needs to be capable of taking advantage of the double teams Freeney receives, which he is. Mathis has more than 40 sacks in the last four seasons.
The Colts have a ton of holes on their team and they could use upgrades in multiple spots. Despite that, they have two terrific pass rushers that make life hell on opposing teams. You can't say they have no bright spots in Indy.
Just before the news dropped that Mathis would be tagged, Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star tweeted that Mathis and the team had come to a tentative agreement on a long-term contract and that he would not be slapped with the franchise tag. That contract is still coming, but the team put the tag on him as a precaution because of the looming franchise tag deadline.
Colts tagged Robert Mathis as precaution but are deep in talks on long-term deal and both sides hope to have that done shortly #insideslant— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 5, 2012
Mathis, who is 31 years old, has played the entirety of his nine-year NFL career with the Colts. He recorded 9.5 sacks this season on a defense that badly underperformed around him, and he has been selected to the Pro Bowl four times in his career.
The Indianapolis Colts are trying to come to an agreement on a new contract for defensive end Robert Mathis, but they are preparing to place the Franchise Tag on him if they can't do so by today's deadline (via @adamschefter). Mathis is one of several big-name free agents with the Colts, although he might be the most important one.
Mathis may be entering his age-31 season, but he is still one of the top pass rushers in the NFL. His 9.5 sacks in 2011 were down from his 11.0 in 2010, but they continued an impressively consistent run in which he's averaged more than .5 sacks per game in every season since 2004. During his 135-game NFL career, Mathis has racked up 83.5 sacks and forced 39 fumbles.
If the Colts do not either sign or franchise Mathis, he'll surely be one of the top targets on the free agent market and the Colts would risk losing him for no compensation.
For more on Mathis' contract situation, be sure to read Colts blog Stampede Blue.
The Indianapolis Colts have a slew of impending unrestricted free agents, including defensive Robert Mathis. Mathis is a player the Colts would like to keep during their rebuilding and according to Bob Kravitz of the Indy Star, talks have ramped up between the two sides.
I'm told contract talks between colts and Robert Mathis are warming up considerably— BobKravitz (@bkravitz) Feb. 29, 2012
Mathis has been with the Colts since the 2003 season, starting for the Colts since the 2006 season opposite Dwight Freeney. The two have been a great pass rushing pair over the seasons, with Mathis picking up nearly 42 sacks over the past four seasons. With the rumors of the Colts potentially making the transition from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 defense, Mathis is a player believed to be able to easily make the transition to stand up pass rusher.
The Indianapolis Colts have a handfull of free agents they'll want to keep, including both starting wide receivers Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon. In the middle of what looks like a total rebuild, however, it might be tough to keep both of these players. Garcon recently turned down a five-year, $35 million contract offer from the Colts, according to a report by Adam Schefter of ESPN.
More on the report from Adam Schefter of ESPN.com that Indianapolis Colts receiver Pierre Garcon turned down a five year offer from the team. Word tonight is the value of the contract hovered around the $35 million mark.
Garcon was originally picked up by the Colts in the 2008 NFL Draft and finally seemed to have a break out year in 2011, with 70 receptions for 947 yards and six touchdown receptions. The whispers say Garcon does not want to stay in Indianapolis, but it's difficult to see a team willing to offer Garcon a contract similar to what he turned down.
The Indianapolis Colts will face the looming decision to release quarterback Peyton Manning in the coming weeks, but the Colts could also take another hit on the offensive side of the ball with the potential retirement of center Jeff Saturday.
If veteran Pro Bowl C Jeff Saturday retires, as most expect, finding a new center will be key for the Colts. Also need help at WR, LB, CB, S— Tom James (@TribStarTJames) February 23, 2012
If Saturday retires as expected, it just adds another massive hole into that thing called the Colts roster. The Colts do have the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and are expected to take quarterback Andrew Luck, but they'll still have holes all over the place. Saturday has been the Colts starting center since the 1999 season after going undrafted and had an excellent rapport with quarterback Peyton Manning.
Colts beat writer suggests the chances of Reggie Wayne returning are less than 50-50.
The Indianapolis Colts went 2-14 in the 2011-2012 NFL season. There was a time not long ago when that was expected. But in the Peyton Manning Era, that's simply unthinkable. As such, it's no surprise that Manning spent the entire season on the sidelines, helpless to watch as the franchise he rebuilt crumbled in the blink of an eye.
That the Colts plan on drafting Andrew Luck isn't even the worst-kept secret because would require some semblance of secret-keeping. It's a fact. The question is not whether or not Luck will done the blue and white, but rather if he will spend his first season backing up a legend or beginning his own.
However, the Colts have a lot more on their mind than just Manning. They've got 22 free agents, 19 of which are unrestricted to consider. Among them are both back-up quarterbacks, three star receivers, key offensive linemen and a bevy of defensive ends.
One way or another the Colts are going to look drastically different in 2012.
Here's a complete look at the Colts' free agent picture (via Mac's Football Blog):
Exclusive Rights Free Agents (1)
S Stevie Brown
Restricted Free Agents (2)
TE Anthony Hill
CB Jacob Lacey
Unrestricted Free Agents (19)
QB Kerry Collins (2011 contract voided five days after regular season ended)
QB Dan Orlovsky
FB Jerome Felton
WR Pierre Garcon
WR Anthony Gonzalez
WR Reggie Wayne
TE Jacob Tamme
OT Ryan Diem
OT Quinn Ojinnaka
OG Mike Pollak
OG Jamey Richard
OC Jeff Saturday
DE Jamaal Anderson
DE Tyler Brayton
DE Eric Foster
DE Robert Mathis
LB Kevin Bentley
LB Ernie Sims
LB Phillip Wheeler
For more on the Colts offseason, be sure to check out Stampede Blue.
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