FoxSports is reporting (and Lilja's agent confirms in the IndyStar) the Colts have cut guard Ryan Lilja, Lilja returned from a knee injury that cost him all of 2008 to start all 16 games at left guard last year. Lilja was paid the 1.7million dollar roster bonus for the upcoming year according to his agent.
Craig Domann, Lilja’s agent, said the release was not necessarily financially-driven. The team paid Lilja a $1.7 million roster bonus he was due, then terminated his contract. Lilja was due to earn a base salary of $3.055 million in 2010.
"They said they want to go bigger, and they let him go,’’ Domann said. "Ryan was disappointed, but I know he’ll land on his feet.’’
Lilja started 16 games for the Colts in 2005, 2007 and 2009, while his 04, 06 and 08 seasons were cut short by injury (for a total of 11 starts).
This leaves Kyle DeVan, Mike Pollak and Jamey Richard the only guards returning, joined on the offseason roster by practice squad call-up Jaimie Thomas by new pickup Andy Alleman. It appears that the Colts will be significantly re-vamping the OL that was criticized by team president Bill Polian in the wake of the Super Bowl loss.