Prior to the start of this off-season of 'meh' which the Colts have embarked on, the general thought was Kelvin Hayden would be retained despite his bloated cap hit and Ryan Diem would be cut free. The reason everyone held this notion was because it made sense.
Cutting Hayden only saved roughly $1.1 mill in cap space this year, while cutting Diem saved $5.4 mill. It's also important to add the despite being grossly overpaid, Hayden was still a decent corner whereas Diem has been done as a right tackle since 2008. I don't write that to insult Diem personally, but simply to point out the obvious. Watch him on tape, and the guy is a turnstile at RT. Injuries and age caught up to him. Happens to all players.
But, instead of following logic and reason, the Colts front office decided to do the opposite of what everyone expected: They cut Hayden and kept Diem, getting him to renegotiate the final year of his contract to a modest one-year deal. No terms of this new deal were announced, but I think it's pretty safe to say he won't be making $5.4 mill.
Why keep Diem? Well, it seems the Colts are having trouble signing first round pick Anthony Castonzo and veteran tackle-guard Charlie Johnson.
According to CBS Sports, Castonzo's agent wants the fourth year of his contract guaranteed. The Colts don't. Thus, no signing. It doesn't make sense to me why the Colts would play hardball with this. Castonzo is the team's projected left tackle protecting the blindside of Mr. $90 Million. I suspect he will be the LT for the next ten years. If he doesn't have the talent to do that, or if the Colts think he isn't worth keeping three years from now, then I kind of question why Indy used a first round pick on him.
I mean, if Castonzo turns into another Tony Ugoh, then I don't think Chris Polian and his dad need to worry about that guaranteed fourth year. They'll both probably be sent packing before it arrives. The reputations of the Polians cannot afford yet another busted first round pick, and the Colts stand no shot of winning another Super Bowl in Peyton Manning's final playing years if they continue to flop in the draft.
Reputations and pinks slips aside, it's all the more important to ink Castonzo and get him in camp because there are no other options currently available. The Colts don't seem all that serious about re-signing Charlie Johnson, and if you trust a player like Jeff Linkenbach as this team's starting left tackle, don't say that in public or people will laugh at you.
Charlie Johnson was the starting left tackle the last two seasons, and despite playing out of position, he was very solid. Charlie is a natural guard. He's also a better option at right tackle than Diem. Keeping Diem, but dumping Charlie, is complete and utter idiocy on the part of the Colts front office. Hopefully, they will come to their senses and actually make am move that help the team win in 2011.
Once again, I'll apologize to fans who are coming here looking for poms-poms, popcorn, and pink Kool Aid. I don't mean to piss on people's punch bowls, but I personally don't see a lot of sound decision-making coming from West 56th Street. At this rate, I'm pretty much convinced we will see Mike Pollak once against starting at guard and Philip Wheeler at linebacker when practice begins tomorrow.