Colts Franchise Robert Mathis; Sign him to Multi-Year Deal

The deadline for the franchise tag was today at 4 p.m.  The Colts announced right around that time that they had franchised defensive end Robert Mathis.  At the time, they were reportedly very close to a deal. 

A few hours later, they had agreed on a contract that will keep one of the league’s best pass rushers in Indianapolis and will keep the best pass duo in the NFL together (Mathis and Dwight Freeney).

The Indianapolis Star’s Mike Chappell tweeted the details of Mathis’ contract:

Colts ponied up for Robert Mathis. 4 years, $36 million, $15 SB. $17 mill in 1st year, $24 mill in 2nd year. Next dinner’s on #98.

New Colts head coach Chuck Pagano loves Mathis, and Mathis loves the defense the Ravens run, where Pagano was defensive coordinator last year.  Regardless of whether the Colts are rebuilding or not, they still need that veteran leadership, and Mathis provides that.  Glad to see Mathis get rewarded for his play.

That said, the deal leaves wide receivers Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon without a contract and without the option of being franchised.  Both will likely hit the open market when the league year starts March 13th.  I do not expect Wayne to come back, or for the Colts to even make much of a push to keep him.  That effort will be focused on Garcon.  I do expect Garcon to stay in Indy, but he will likely test free agency first.

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About Josh Wilson
Follow Josh on twitter @jwilsonWL, on Facebook at the Operation: Freedom page, or you can reach him by email at operation.freedom@yahoo.com.

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