FanPost

Trade Freeney? Ok. Then why sign Mathis to a new contract?

Adam Schefter is reporting that the Colts are fielding offers for Dwight Freeney. I understand the Colts wanting to get rid of Freeney. He is owed a salary cap number of 14 million plus a roster bonus of 5. It has been suggested by Paul Kuharsky that the Titans might be willing to trade us the 20th pick for him. I would be all for that. Despite the downside of having Freeney dealt within our own division, the 20th pick would help expedite the Colts rebuilding process. My question is, if you can get the 20th pick for the 32 year old Freeney, what would Mathis be worth? If you could get an offer of something similar, I would move have traded Mathis too. That would have made sense except that the Colts just signed him to a new contract with a large signing bonus.

I think the Colts made a mistake in removing the franchise tag from Mathis. Another team would have been happy to trade the Colts a high pick for Mathis with the notion that they would then sign him to a new contract. Instead, the Colts now have a 31 year old defensive end that they are paying 9 million a year. I know the Colts believe Mathis is a good value at 9 million a year because he can play linebacker and special teams in addition to defensive end. This flexibility is certainly valuable when transitioning to a hybrid 3-4 defense. But 9 million is too much to pay a linebacker or special teams player. The amount of money they paid him suggests he will remain as a defensive end. I suspect his value would decrease significantly as a defensive end should the Colts trade Freeney. Mathis' success was due in large part to lining up opposite of Freeney. If opposing teams no longer have to account for Dwight, they will focus more attention to Mathis. Then what are the Colts paying 9 million a year for? A 31 year old, average defensive lineman in a new defensive scheme that may or may not be a good match for his skill set.

I thought it was peculiar that the Colts signed Mathis to a new contract only hours after using the franchise tag on him. It seemed like poor planning on the organization's part. Now, if they trade Freeney, it seems like a questionable signing too.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors.

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