According to Indianapolis Colts starting left tackle Anthony Castonzo, even though the veteran contemplated retirement at season’s end, ‘there was never a question about coming back to the Colts’ (via Colts.com’s Andrew Walker):
“I don’t think there was ever a question about coming back to the Colts,” Castonzo said. “I love the Colts, and I love the organization. I think they’ve been nothing but good to me, and I trust the head coach, and I trust the general manager, and I trust the owner. So that was never a question.”
“What ultimately made me decide to come back and play was just the fact that after starting some offseason training and kind of doing some things that I had done last year at this time, realizing how far ahead of where I was last year at this time I am right now, and just really realizing how much more I have in the tank and how I think that my best football is still ahead of me. So it didn’t make sense for me to hang it up at this time.”
While the 10-year veteran mulled his football future, the question was never whether it would be with the Colts—but rather, if he would continue his playing career at all.
Instead, Castonzo signed a new 2-year, $33 million deal earlier this offseason with the Colts—which makes him the second highest paid left tackle in all of football on an annual basis.
The 31 year old veteran earned it too after arguably the best season of his career in 2019, as even though he was snubbed from both Pro Bowl and All-Pro consideration, he was one of the game’s best left tackles.
This past season, Castonzo started all 16 games for the Colts offensive line, allowing just 3 sacks and 34 total QB pressures—while committing a mere 2 penalties.
Per Pro Football Focus (subscription), Castonzo received a +81.3 grade overall (the 8th best among all offensive tackles)—including a +84.4 pass blocking grade.
As Indianapolis’ 2011 first round pick—and the final of Hall of Fame GM Bill Polian’s Colts tenure, Castonzo is the only active remnant to play through the last three ‘regimes’ of Horseshoe football—with a new general manager and coaching staff at each transition.
Despite playing one of the NFL’s toughest positions, he’s consistently been very good to elite for the majority of his Colts career as a bookend starting left tackle—with 132 career starts and counting in Indianapolis protecting the blindside.
Castonzo showed last season that he has plenty of football still left in the tank, and the Colts’ rock solid starting left tackle has proven to be a true ‘Horseshoe guy’ through and through—and presumably will be, until he finally decides to hang up the cleats for good.