Tracking the Top 5 Roster Cuts of New Colts Regime: Where Are They Now?
The Indianapolis Colts will look a whole lot different in 2012. After a 2-14 season in 2011, Indianapolis went through its roster and dumped a ton of players who had been long-time cornerstones of the organization.
There has been so much roster turnover in Indianapolis that it has been hard to keep track of just who is still with the team and who will be playing elsewhere in 2012. Here is a look at the top five roster cuts the Colts made and where they are now.
When the Colts cut Peyton Manning loose officially on March 8, the four-time MVP started a tour of opposing teams that had the football world waiting in anticipation. In the end, the 11-time Pro Bowler decided he wanted to spend his final few NFL seasons in Denver, and the Broncos gave him a five-year, $96 million contract.
As we all know by now, the Colts went younger under center, selecting Stanford's Andrew Luck with the top pick in the 2012 NFL draft. Meanwhile, Manning appears to be adjusting well to his new surroundings in Denver.
Though he wasn't technically cut from the team, Saturday was allowed to walk away as a free agent. However, he surely would have re-signed if the Colts had offered him a contract. Instead, the 36-year-old center walked away from the place he called home for 13 seasons.
Saturday signed a two-year deal with the Green Bay Packers, and the five-time Pro Bowler will be stepping in to replace the departed Scott Wells at center. He probably has a few good years left, and is still one of the smartest centers in all of football.
As part of the team's roster purge, 32-year-old tight end Dallas Clark was sent packing on March 9, along with five other former starters. After nine seasons, 427 receptions, 4,887 yards, 46 touchdowns and a trip to the Pro Bowl, Clark was forced to find a new home.
He did just that, signing on with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to be part of their rebuilt offense. Clark may never find a quarterback that utilizes him the way that Peyton Manning did, but he'll have a chance to make an impact immediately for the Bucs.
Running back Joseph Addai was part of Indianapolis' March 9 roster purge, and the former Pro Bowler and mainstay of the team's backfield was forced to find a new home.
It took a while, but Addai finally signed with the New England Patriots. The LSU product rushed for 4,453 yards and 39 touchdowns during his six seasons in Indianapolis. He will now be in the running back rotation mix with youngsters Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen.
Addai is just 29 years old, but he showed signs of slowing down over the past few seasons. He will need to prove his legs still have some life, or he may not even make New England's final roster.
Gary Brackett was a key piece of the Colts defense for nine seasons, but the 32-year-old played in just one game last season. He too was part of the March 9 roster purge, and was sent to free agency by the only team he has ever played for.
Brackett is still looking to find a home, but he was recently cleared to play. While he has been injury-prone throughout his career, he will likely find somewhere to play before the 2012 season starts.