The ongoing offseason shuffling of Indianapolis Colts roster spots during free agency prompted a fan to ask a good question: How have former players fared elsewhere?
Readers can be the judge of how the post-Colts careers have panned out. Because there are so many names, the lists in this three-part series stick to Colts in the past three seasons.
Players are classified when they were let go during the NFL calendar year, which begins each March.
Players who never appeared in a game for the Colts are excluded, with one exception from last season. Because cornerback Marcus Burley had enough value to be traded to the Seattle Seahawks for a sixth-round draft choice at the end of the 2014 preseason, he’s included to show how he played last season.
The first installment in this series is for players released during last season.
C Thomas Austin — He appeared in one 2013 game as a reserve after being signed from the practice squad in December. He was waived in June, re-signed in August then waived again on Aug. 31. Austin, 28, did not play for another team last season and is currently a free agent.
WR LaVon Brazill — The 2012 sixth-round selection appeared played in 25 games over the course of two seasons with 23 receptions for 347 yards and three touchdowns, but the Colts cut him eight days after a second violation of the league’s policy for substance abuse in July 2014. The second suspension meant he was suspended for at least the 2014 NFL season. He had previously admitted his first violation was for marijuana use. The Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts signed Brazill to their practice squad then promoted him to the active roster in August. He caught 19 passes for 216 yards and one touchdown, then was waived in November. Brazill, 26, is currently a free agent.
CB Jalil Brown — He played two games for the Colts before being waived. Brown signed with Miami but didn’t appear in a game, then was cut again and re-signed by the Colts after cornerback Louchiez Purifoy was released. He appeared in three more regular-season games and one playoff game. He was credited with one tackle and one pass defended during the regular season. The fifth-year pro is on the Colts roster.
OLB Victor Butler — He had two brief stints with the Colts last season and made two tackles in two games. His latter release opened a roster spot for linebacker Shaun Phillips. After the regular season, the New York Giants signed him to a reserve/futures contract.
CB Marcus Burley — After spending time on the Colts practice squad, he was on the training camp roster until late August, when he was traded for a sixth-round draft pick to Seattle. He appeared in 13 games with the Seahawks, making 35 tackles with one interception five passes defended and one sack. He is still on the Seahawks roster.
OLB Chris Carter — He lasted about one month with the Colts, appearing in one game without any statistics. After being released, he was a free agent for about two months before signing with Cincinnati and appearing in three games with three tackles. He is still on the Bengals roster.
FB Mario Harvey — The converted linebacker appeared in 28 games with the Colts over the course of three seasons, but was waived after three games last season. He was signed to the Jets’ practice squad in December, then New York re-signed him to a reserve/future contract on Dec. 30, 2014. He does not have any NFL carries. His 27 career tackles came in the first two seasons with the Colts.
FB Stanley Havili — Acquired from the Philadelphia Eagles for defensive end Clifton Geathers on March 28, 2013, Havili appeared in 13 games with eight starts in 2013. He was used primarily as a blocking back with seven rushes for seven yards, but he caught 18 passes for 128 yards and one touchdown. He began 2014 on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list due to a shoulder injury and was released in November after failing a physical. He was signed to the Seattle Seahawks practice squad eight days later but released in December. Havili, 27, is currently a free agent.
LB Justin Hickman — He appeared in 12 games with 12 tackles as a reserve in 2012, then spent 2013 on injured reserve. The Colts released him in June 2014. In September, he re-signed with the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats, for whom he had been a CFL All-Star in 2011 and had played for three seasons beginning in 2009. He had nine tackles and one sack as a defensive end last season. Hickman, 29, is listed on Hamilton’s roster for the 2015 season.
RB Deji Karim — Fans will remember Karim for his 101-yard TD kickoff return against the Texans in 2012. He re-joined the Colts in preseason but was placed on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury after nine days in camp. Later released outright with an injury settlement, he did not play for another team last season. He’s currently a free agent.
S Corey Lynch — He appeared in five regular-season games in 2013 as a reserve safety and two playoff games, making seven tackles including three in the postseason. The Colts were his fifth team in six seasons and his last so far. He was released in June 2014 with an injury settlement and did not play in the NFL last season. Lynch, 29, is currently a free agent.
OT Jamon Meredith — Few players have probably ever changed addresses more than Meredith, who played in four games for the Colts last season. After being waived, he spent time in Green Bay, Cincinnati and Tennessee. He started three games for the Titans. He’s been with nine teams since entering the league in 2009 with 51 games played and 24 starts.
CB Louchez Purifoy — The undrafted defensive back appeared in 11 games last season, most on special teams, with seven tackles, one pass defended and one forced fumble before he was released due to a reported violation of team rules. He was claimed off waivers by the Seattle Seahawks, but was waived after failing his physical. Purifoy, 22, is currently a free agent.
RB Chris Rainey — The running back appeared in two 2013 games as a returner. He had six kickoff returns for 131 yards (21.8 yards per return) and four punt returns for 29 yards (7.3 yards per return) with two fumbles. He finished the season on injured reserve. During 2014’s training camp, Rainey was released for a violation of team rules. He was signed to the practice squad of the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League in September, then promoted to the active roster in October. He had 12 rushes for 54 yards (4.5 yards per carry), 10 receptions for 71 yards (7.1 yards), returned 12 kickoffs for 246 yards (20.5 yards per return) and returned three punts for 18 yards (6 yards per return). Rainey, 27, is listed on Montreal’s roster for the 2015 season.
WR Da’Rick Rogers — He appeared in five games with three starts in 2013 and had 14 receptions for 192 yards and two touchdowns. He was on the active roster for 2014 but did not appear in a game then was released in September after being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). He did not play for another NFL team last season. Rogers, 23, signed with the Kansas City Chiefs in January.
TE Weslye Saunders — After six games and one start in 2013, he played in one game last season before the Colts waived him. He had four catches for 46 yards in 2013, but did not have a catch last season. The Gary, Ind., native did not play for another team last season. He is currently a free agent.
LB Kelvin Sheppard — Acquired from the Buffalo Bills for defensive end Jerry Hughes in 2013, he appeared in 15 games with seven starts that season and made 46 tackles with one sack. He was among the Colts’ preseason roster cuts on Aug. 30, 2014. The former third-round selection signed with the Miami Dolphins and had a career-low 24 tackles in 16 appearances with one start. Sheppard, 27, re-signed with the Dolphins on March 10.
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.