It didn't take long for Bob Sanders' uber-agent, Tom Condon, to respond to Mike Lombardi's NFL.com report raising concerns that Bob Sanders "might never be able to play football again" due to his lingering knee and arm injuries. Also mentioned in Lombardi's article was news that Sanders re-negotiated his contract.
Here's Condon's and the Colts' responses via Phil Richards at the Indy Star:
Condon said the contract has not been addressed and that he knows of no new injury issues.
The Colts were more direct.
"Nothing has changed since June," a team spokesman said.
Condon's answer is actually more alarming to me that Lombardi's initial article. Lombardi wasn't talking about "new injuries," Tom. He was talking about the same injuries that have prevented Sanders from playing a full season since 2007. If you wanted to squash Lombardi's report, a statement along the lines of "Bob is perfectly healthy" would have done that.
The team response is even more vague. Again, a simple "Bob is fine" would have ended this. Now, I'm even more concerned. You'll notice how they did not deny the report, and since Lombardi no longer works for the blog National Football Post, the Colts cannot hide behind their "we don't respond to blog reports" policy as they did last time Lombardi broke a big story that the Colts did not want made public. Lombardi's July 18th, 2010 article was for NFL.com. Kinda hard to shun that.
Two things might have happened here. 1) Lombardi's sources were simply wrong, and Mike has to own up for writing a poorly sourced report, or 2) Mike stumbled onto something, and the team and the agent are now in damage control mode. If Bob was indeed re-negotiating his contract to take less money, that kind of thing would seriously piss off the Players Union. Now is NOT the time to be taking less. If he were re-negotiating as part of some compensation because (as Lombardi suggests) he's done playing football due to old injuries that just aren't healing, that too is something the team and the agent would want to keep under wraps.
If we don't hear anything new on this, we will (I assume) see Bob in Anderson in two weeks. I've reached out to Mike Lombardi and asked for some clarification. Hopefully, we'll get it reasonably soon.