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.