The oft-injured wideout will not be re-signed by the Colts, the team announced via press release.
Owner Jim Irsay released a short statement saying,
Austin was a warrior and an inspiration for the franchise and Colts fans around the world. He was a great player for us and a superstar for our community, and will always be a part of the Colts family.
Collie spent the bulk of the 2012 season on injured reserve. After missing two games with symptoms related to concussions, he appeared for less than a quarter before injuring his knee against the Jaguars in the third game of the year.
Collie's injury was a blow to an offense that needed his reliability over the middle. With Collie out, Donnie Avery took the bulk of the snaps as the second receiver and struggled mightily to get open all season.
Of course, it was Collie's toughness that proved his undoing. Starting with a fateful hit against the Philadelphia Eagles, Collie's career has become front and center in the debate over head injuries in the league.
Though he played all of 2011, his 2012 season began with a concussive hit against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the preseason, leading many to question if he should even return to football.
For his part, Collie told Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star that he has every intention of playing football again, though it won't be for the Colts.
I’m playing. Right now, it would take a doctor to tell me, "You can’t play anymore." I feel like this is a gift that I’ve been given, and personally I feel I should still be doing it. That’s just me.
Collie's release comes as no surprise. Given his injury history, there was little reason for the Colts to bring him back. Though they have a glaring need at receiver, Collie is too big of an injury risk for the team to retain his services.
It's clear he wasn't in their calculations for the future, leaving only glimmers of his incredible past behind.
Collie's finest hour as a Colt came in the 2009 AFC Championship Game. He picked up seven catches for 123 yards and a touchdown as the Colts beat the New York Jets to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
He then started the 2010 season on fire, catching at least four passes in each of the team's first six games, twice topping 160 yards receiving and scoring six times in six games.
Then it all came crashing down against the Eagles.
On a deep pass over the middle, he was clocked by Kurt Coleman and Quintin Mikell. He remained on the field for several minutes. He would try to return twice that season, only to fail to finish both games due to more blows to his head.
After scoring 13 touchdowns in his first 22 regular-season games as a professional, Collie scored just three over his final 20 games with the Colts.
Quote by Irsay courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts via direct press release.