|07-22-2007, 12:16 PM||#1|
Is this thing on???
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tulsa, OK
Another Issue for the Colts???
Veteran's exit could leave Colts' line with dilemma
By Mike Chappell
In a season teeming with personnel losses, Tarik Glenn might be the biggest for the Indianapolis Colts.
Here are the key players lost by the Colts since their Super Bowl win over the Chicago Bears, including the number of games each played and started in '06, including the postseason:
• LB Cato June (20 games/20 starts): Signed with Tampa Bay as an unrestricted free agent.
• CB Nick Harper (19/19): Signed with Tennessee as an unrestricted free agent.
• CB Jason David (20/19): Signed a restricted free agent offer sheet with New Orleans that the Colts opted not to match.
• RB Dominic Rhodes (20/16): Signed with Oakland as an unrestricted free agent.
• S Mike Doss (6/4): Signed with Minnesota as an unrestricted free agent.
• WR Brandon Stokley (4/1): Signed with Denver after the Colts terminated his contract.
• DT Montae Reagor (5/5): Signed with Philadelphia after the Colts terminated his contract.
• KR Terrence Wilkins (18/14): Unrestricted free agent who remains unsigned.
• LB Gilbert Gardner (16/12): Waived, and claimed by Tennessee.
And that has nothing to do with the fact the 330-plus-pound veteran offensive left tackle is the biggest player on the roster.
According to several people close to the veteran lineman, Glenn, 31, has decided to retire rather than extend a flourishing NFL career that encompasses 10 seasons, 167 starts (including the postseason), three Pro Bowl appearances and one Super Bowl championship. Repeated attempts to reach Glenn have been unsuccessful.
If Glenn remains unwavering in his decision and doesn't report with his teammates next Sunday to Terre Haute for the start of training camp, the Colts face a daunting task: finding a suitable replacement. He has been the solid sentinel who has protected the back of quarterback Peyton Manning the past nine seasons.
The significance of that challenge can't be overstated. Glenn routinely has drawn jeers from fans for his frequent false starts but has been the linchpin of Manning's pass protection unit. Since Manning's arrival in '98, the Colts have yielded a league-low 176 sacks in 144 regular-season games. They've led or shared the league lead in fewest sacks allowed five times, including in each of the past three seasons.
The most likely candidates to replace Glenn are Charlie Johnson or rookie Tony Ugoh. Other tackles on the roster include right-side starter Ryan Diem and backup prospects Michael Toudouze, a fifth-round draft pick in '06, Dan Federkeil, Joe Lobdell and Gabe Hall.
If it comes to filling Glenn's sizable void, coach Tony Dungy is confident the transition will be seamless.
"I always tell all our guys you never know what's going to happen,'' he said, speaking generally and not specifically addressing Glenn's retirement. "We didn't know Charlie Johnson was going to play three quarters of the Super Bowl and we didn't know (cornerback) Kelvin Hayden was going to (play extensively in the Super Bowl).
"We never go into it thinking if we don't have this person or we don't have that person, we can't function.''
Johnson was a sixth-round draft pick in '06 who saw action in all 20 games as a rookie, primarily at right tackle. When starting right tackle Ryan Diem sustained an ankle injury in the first quarter of the Super Bowl, Johnson filled in so competently that Manning wasn't aware of his participation until a few series had unfolded.
The Colts seemingly took steps to add Glenn's eventual successor to the roster in April when they selected Ugoh, a standout left tackle at Arkansas, in the second round. The cost was steep. To get into position to draft Ugoh, team president Bill Polian sent his 2008 first-round draft pick and an '07 fourth-rounder to San Francisco.
At the time, though, the team indicated Ugoh might spend at least part of his rookie season at guard before moving to left tackle in '08. Glenn would be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the upcoming season.
It appears Glenn arrived at his decision in the past couple of weeks. He participated in the team's offseason conditioning program and was on hand for the voluntary summer school, which ended June 13.
By retiring, Glenn will walk away from a ton of money. His '07 base salary is $4.5 million, which the Colts will gain in relief under the salary cap. And he likely would draw serious attention on the NFL's free agent market in '08.
|07-22-2007, 12:24 PM||#2|
A new beginning!
Join Date: Aug 2006
Watermock - RIP
There is another thread on this and its pretty polarized on the impact. This will be a chance to show how great Manning is with a suddenly depleted line.