From Adam Schefter:
That was one reason. The other reason was Sanders had signed a $37 million dollar contract back in early 2008. He pocketed $20 million in guaranteed money, and then (with an average yearly salary of $7.5 million), he too millions more over four seasons. He took $7.1 million in 2008 and 3.95 mill in 2009. In 2010, he took home 5.5 mill. During that length of time, 2008-2010, Bob played in a total of nine games.
Yeah, it's safe to say that was a pretty stupid contract. And please don't throw out the lame excuse of 'hindsight is 20-20.' Sanders had a long history with injuries dating back to college. He was injured his rookie year. He was injured for most of the 2006 season, only to come back for the playoffs and help Indy win a title.
In the end, giving an injury prone safety a $37 million dollar contract with $20 mill guaranteed was not a smart business move.That's nearly
$50 mill $30 million dished out to him that could have been invested in players who, you know, actually stay on the field and contribute something to the football team. Jim Irsay and Bill Polian often lament the 2005 Corey Simon contract as a 'mistake.' Bob Sanders' deal was equally damaging.
And for people who feel that the release of Sanders is somehow some big page-turning moment in Colts history, the reality is Bob Sanders hasn't been part of this football team since he won Defensive Player of the Year in 2007.
Again, nine games in three seasons since winning that award.
To offer some perspective, Javarris James (who was a rookie last year) has played in more games for the Colts (10) recently than Sanders. Aaron Francisco has started more games at safety the last two years (14) than Sanders the last four years.
Absolutely, Bob was a wonderful player from 2004-2007, and we should appreciate his work during that time. But 2007 was eons ago, and when a player hasn't made a significant contribution to the team in well over three years, but was getting paid roughly $7.5 million a season regardless, it's kind of hard to get misty-eyed when thinking about him getting cut. I will personally have nothing but warm memories of his play in the playoffs in 2006, and his body of work in 2007. But Bob stopped being an intricate part of the Colts a long time ago, and his release was an obvious move for the Colts to make this off-season.