The Indianapolis Colts announced last week that they will not re-sign outside linebacker Dwight Freeney and wide receiver Austin Collie when the free agent period begins in a few weeks. Everyone in Indianapolis was somewhat shocked but not surprised by that move.
The Colts have been shifting from the old style to a whole new era in football and slowing getting rid of everyone from the past regime. Last offseason they cut ties with the entire coaching staff and front office. They also released Peyton Manning, Joseph Addai, Dallas Clark, Jeff Saturday, Gary Brackett, Melvin Bullitt and other among the past system.
Now, Freeney and Collie were part of the next wave of past greats to go. I don’t think they will be the last though as many players from last year’s team facing free agency probably won’t be brought back.
Expect guys like Wide Receiver Donnie Avery, Cornerback Darius Butler, Linebacker A.J. Edds, Cornerback Josh Gordy, Tackle Tony Hills, Running Back Deji Karim, Tackle Jeff Linkenbach, Defensive End Fili Moala, Running Back Mewelde Moore, Guard Seth Olsen, Cornerback Jerraud Powers, Cornerback Cassius Vaughn Quarterback Drew Stanton and Linebacker Jamaal Westerman to all be released when the signing period begins.
Those 14 players will free up more cap room as none of them are really needed going forward.
Also, the team will look hard at Linebacker Moise Fokou, Tackle Winston Justice and Guard Joe Reitz. They could bring them back but both offensive linemen battled with injuries last season and were never really an asset as quarterback Andrew Luck was sacked over 40 times last season counting that playoff game with the Baltimore Ravens.
Fokou, looked good when he played and won’t cost much. I can see him coming back.
The only guy on the free agent list that’s not going anywhere is punter Pat McAfee. He’s too valuable to this team as he became one of the best punters in the NFL last season. He also is a great guy to have as he’s been used on kickoffs. McAfee also is a stellar field goal kicker and could be the first player in NFL history to do all three kicking duties once Adam Vinatieri’s time is done in Indianapolis.
That could come as soon as the 2014 season.
It’s safe to say this is going to be a new era for the Colts. Only five guys remain from the Super Bowl team from 2010. Those guys are Robert Mathis, McAfee, Adam Vinatieri, Donald Brown and Reggie Wayne. I’d expect Brown to possibly to get cut to and only give the Colts four left for the ’13 season.