The 2012 Indianapolis Colts will be very different from the team, and franchise, we've all known for over a decade. On Wednesday, owner Jim Irsay held an emotional press conference with Peyton Manning, announcing that the fourteen year veteran would be released.
Today, Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star is reporting, via an unnamed source, that the Colts have also cut a plethora of well-known, established veteran players. Gone from the roster are:
With Reggie Wayne likely to hit free agency, possibly to join Peyton Manning wherever he lands, and Pierre Garcon rejecting a five-year contract, the Colts are poised to enter the 2012 season minus ALL their starting skill position players on offense.
Wow. "New Era?" More like "Nuked Era."
Coupled with this news of recent roster moves, PFT is reporting that the Colts are looking to trade Dwight Freeney.
For Colts fans out there, emotions were high when Manning said goodbye. With management cutting nearly the entire offense, and with Freeney on the block, emotions likely are at DEFCON 1!
The Indianapolis Colts are dead. Long live the Indianapolis Colts.
Statement from colts G.M. Ryan Grigson, via Colts.com:
“These days are always difficult and emotional,” said General Manager Ryan Grigson. “The Colts organization will be bidding farewell to a terrific group of men who have made such an impact over their years of service on the field and in the community. I wish them nothing but the best as they take the next steps in their careers.”
Personally, I think Colts offensive lineman Ben Ijalana summed it up best on Twitter:
Oh shit— Ben Ijalana (@TheBiggerBen) March 9, 2012
Yep. What he said.