Indianapolis Colts Release Bjoern Werner After Three Putrid Seasons

By Kyle Nishida

The Indianapolis Colts continue to cut their losses this offseason. After releasing Jonathan Newsome and Andre Johnson over the past couple of weeks, the team has also waived outside linebacker Bjoern Werner. This release seems like a fitting end for Werner’s time in Indianapolis after he failed to live up to any of the high expectations the Colts had for him.

The Colts selected Werner in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. That year, Werner was a redshirt junior coming out of Florida State University. In three seasons with the Seminoles, Werner racked up 23.5 sacks, including 13.0 in his final season. His pass rushing skills made him a very enticing pick for the Colts. Unfortunately, Werner never lived up to the hype and had trouble earning playing time in three seasons with the Colts.

The Colts certainly gave Werner a lot of chances to prove himself, as he started in 16 of the 38 games he played in for the team. However, he did produce well enough to keep his spot on the roster. He only had 81 career tackles and 6.5 sacks in his three seasons in Indianapolis. In fact, the Colts hinted they had given up on him during the 2015 season. Multiple times throughout last season, the Colts put Werner on their inactive list in spite of the fact that he was perfectly healthy. Injuries were the only reason why Werner suited up and sometimes played in games in 2015.

Werner was a bit of a project coming out of college, because he never played outside linebacker in a 3-4 defensive scheme. At Florida State, he was a defensive end in a 4-3 defensive scheme. The Colts originally thought they could turn Werner into an outside linebacker, but that plan clearly backfired. Ultimately, Werner’s failure to adjust to a 3-4 scheme is why he is considered a bust.

Obviously, Werner’s failure is not entirely his fault. The Colts’ front office needs to be accountable for not accurately scouting him, and the coaching staff should be held responsible for not coaching him up better. Multiple people can be blamed for Werner’s failure, but ultimately, the Colts are done trying to turn Werner into a productive football player. As a result, the 25-year-old is now searching for a new home.

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