Over three years ago, the Colts attempted to sign free agent defensive end Tyler Brayton. It was considered such a done deal that NFL.com updated their website, saying Brayton was a Colt. But, seemingly at the last minute, Brayton changed his mind and signed with the Panthers.
He started 44 games for the Panthers in three years, collecting 87 tackles and 9.5 sacks playing mostly defensive end. At 6'6, 280 pounds, Brayton could play both DE and DT in a Tampa-2 scheme.
Today, the Colts finally signed Brayton, three years after missing on him.
At age 31, it's unclear how much Brayton has left in the tank. He started 14 games last year for an awful Panthers team, and he didn't record a single sack.
This signing comes at a curious time. Colts 2010 first round pick Jerry Hughes started last Saturday at defense end, and was mostly ineffective. With Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis, Jamaal Anderson, and now Brayton on the roster, the question is what role will Hughes play in 2011, if any at all. Indianapolis Star writer Phil Wilson is already flirting with the 'bust' label for Hughes.
Brayton is mostly known for cheap and dirty hits, like this one while he was standing on the sideline during a game:
And this one, where, after the whistle, he planted his knee in Jerramy Stevens nutsack:
Now, I give Brayton a pass on the Stevens play because... well, it's Jerramy Stevens. He kind of deserves getting kicked in the nuts pretty much on a daily basis. But, the other hit is just plain dirty, and when you add it all up, Brayton is the kind of player who makes stupid decisions after the whistle. Don't know how that is going to play in Colts Land. Hopefully, he can help. He's known for being strong against the run, and he can rush from the DT spot.