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Colts Waive Safety Joe Lefeged

In a surprising move, the Colts have waived safety Joe Lefeged.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Surprising news tonight coming from Indianapolis, where the Colts announced that they have released safety Joe Lefeged.  He didn't practice today, and this is probably why.

I don't get it.  I really don't.  It's puzzling to me and he is a good special teams player for the Colts.  The move leaves LaRon Landry, Antoine Bethea, Delano Howell, and Sergio Brown as the safeties on the Colts roster.  Landry is recovering from an injury and Howell missed practice yesterday with an injury that involved his foot being in a boot.  He was back at practice today, however.

Here are my initial possibilities as to why Lefeged was released.  Again, this is purely just speculation on my part, as I don't understand the move from a purely football perspective:

  • The most logical reason that many are jumping to is whether this has to do with his offseason arrest.  With Lefeged missing practice today and then being released, there is certainly a chance that there is some off the field issue that we don't yet know about.  That would seem like a good reason for a release.  Again though, there was no reason whatsoever given, and to immediately jump to the conclusion that there was an off the field issue is unfair.
  • Perhaps the Colts were so impressed with Delano Howell that they are firmly behind him as the team's third safety.  And rightfully so.  But still, wouldn't it make sense to keep Lefeged as a backup?  But perhaps the team is confident enough in Howell that they considered Lefeged expendable.
  • Perhaps they are making room for LaVon Brazill, although this seems very unlikely since they still have time in his one week roster exemption.  Even if they know Brazill is going to make the roster, it would make total sense to wait to make the corresponding move.
Bottom line is that we don't know why Joe Lefeged was released.  But the fact of the matter is that he was.  The Colts cut a backup safety and valuable special teams man.  Lefeged served as the team's special teams captain last year and was one of the best special teams cover guys in the league.  The move seems strange and dumb in terms of football moves, as other guys (like David Reed) would seem more expendable, but there probably is more going on that we don't know about.  But we just don't know what that is yet.