The Indianapolis Colts announced a roster update today, as they have placed outside linebacker Aaron Morgan on the reserve/retired list.
Morgan was placed on season-ending injured reserve just a few days into training camp with a shoulder injury, and it's fair to wonder whether the injury didn't heal as the team and Morgan hoped and expected. The team signed him on December 31, 2013 to a reserve/futures contract after being very impressed with a workout of his, but he didn't play in any games with the team a year ago. In his career, he has played in 18 career NFL games with both the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the 6-4, 250 pound pass rusher caught the eye of general manager Ryan Grigson - enough so that, when Grigson was asked about the pass rush earlier this offseason, he mentioned Morgan's name.
"He had one practice. He came in on a December workout and impressed us so much we signed him on a contract" Grigson said. "When he had that one practice and hurt his shoulder, he did enough in that one practice for us to say, ‘We're hanging on to this guy.'
"He was lights out. He was lights out. In a 9-on-7 period, playing with a bad shoulder, he opened a lot of eyes with how he played. He had a hellacious day that day."
But, while Ryan Grigson had high hopes for Morgan when it came to this year's pass rush, unfortunately he is retiring instead. We wish him the best in his retirement.
For the Colts, they still have several pass rush options and weren't going to be counting on Morgan to provide much, though they were hoping that he would be able to. The team signed Trent Cole this offseason, hopes to have Robert Mathis back as soon as possible, and then are bringing back guys like Jonathan Newsome and Erik Walden, who both showed the ability to get to the quarterback last year. So the pass rush should still be improved over a year ago and this loss doesn't hurt it a ton, but it's still unfortunate and the Colts were hoping that Morgan would provide them with a boost at the position.
And for those wondering, the reserve/retired list is basically just a distinction to mean that a player is retiring but whose contract isn't yet up. The player won't count toward the team in any way (whether toward the roster or toward the salary cap, etc.) but whose rights remain with the team - meaning that if he choose to come back, the Colts would still hold Morgan's rights. That's all the designation is. In other words: he's retiring.