The Colts also waived inside linebacker Andrew Jackson and offensive tackle Xavier Nixon, both of whom had off-field issues. Jackson pleaded guilty in January to driving under the influence, his second DUI arrest in a year. Nixon missed the team flight for the Colts’ AFC Championship Game at New England last month.
Landry had his share of baggage, too.
He was thought to be one of general manager Ryan Grigson’s key free-agency signings in 2013 when the Pro Bowl defender received a four-year, $24-million contract with $11 million guaranteed. But Landry rarely lived up to his reputation as a physical tackler, known at times for his misses in the open field, and was often exposed in pass defense.
The seventh-year pro was suspended in October for four games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. When he returned, the Colts played him as a reserve behind Sergio Brown. Landry, 30, eventually regained his starting job for the last two regular-season games and for three playoff starts.
He started 18 of his 23 Colts games and made 133 tackles, 99 of them solos, with 2.5 sacks and two passed defended. He also had 32 tackles in five playoff games.
The Colts decided to cut their losses at some expense. His dead-money hit to the salary cap will be $5.25 million over the next two seasons, but the team will save $8.25 million.
Jackson, a sixth-round pick in last year’s NFL Draft, spent the first three weeks of the season on the practice squad. He spent the rest of his rookie year on the active roster as a reserve playing mostly special teams. He had seven tackles, one sack on defense with nine special-teams stops. He had three special-teams tackles in three playoff games.
The Colts save $1.11 million over two years without a cap hit in waiving Jackson.
Nixon was signed off the Washington Redskins practice squad in 2013 and played in eight games with two starts as well as in two playoff games in two seasons. He began 2014 on injured reserve, but the team designated him for return and he was activated Nov. 4.
He started only one game this season and didn’t play well, nor did his team in a 42-7 loss at Dallas. When Nixon missed the team flight for the AFC title game, it left the Colts with just two healthy tackles. That didn’t factor into the 45-7 loss to the Patriots.
Nixon was not under contract for next season.
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.