The second installment in a three-part series of how former Indianapolis Colts have fared elsewhere focuses on those players who departed from the team in 2013.
Players listed had to appear in one game for the Colts. The timetable for the list is based on the NFL calendar year, which begins in March.
The most obvious departure from the 2013 Colts was two-time Pro Bowl safety Antoine Bethea, who made his third Pro Bowl in his first season with the San Francisco 49ers. The Colts have had bit of a revolving door at safety since Bethea was allowed to become a free agent, and it’s fair to say his continued production has fans wishing he was still in Indianapolis.
A few other players moved on to actually start some games, but most are now free agents looking for new teams a year later.
The list begins with one of the more well-known Colts, linebacker Pat Angerer, whose career was cut short by knee and foot injuries.
LB Pat Angerer — The former second-round pick out of Iowa started 39 of 54 games with the Colts and made 327 tackles until injuries derailed his career. He finished his last season in 2013 on injured reserve, then underwent multiple foot and knee surgeries. He didn’t play another game. A comeback bid with Atlanta ended with his release before the 2014 regular season. He announced his retirement in October.
S Antoine Bethea — A two-time Pro Bowl selection in eight seasons with the Colts, Bethea made his third Pro Bowl after signing a four-year, $23-million deal with the 49ers. The former sixth-round pick had 86 tackles, 10 passes defended, four interceptions with one returned for a touchdown and one forced fumble last season.
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey — One unproductive season with the Colts amounted to 29 receptions for 309 yards and one touchdown for the Oakland Raiders’ former seventh overall pick in 2009. He signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers, appeared in 16 games with one start and caught just three passes for 33 yards with one lost fumble. The Steelers recently re-signed him to a one-year contract.
RB Donald Brown — The former first-round selection who never lived up to the pick signed a three-year, $10.5 million deal with $4 million guaranteed to join the San Diego Chargers. Last season, he appeared in 13 games with three starts and ran for just 223 yards on 85 carries, 2.6 yards per carry. He had spent five seasons with the Colts, for whom he started just 20 of 66 games and averaged 4.3 yards per carry with 17 touchdowns.
RB Tashard Choice — He appeared in three games for the Colts as a reserve, rushing for 44 yards on 11 carries with one 5-yard reception. The team released him after the season in February. The sixth-year pro has not played in the league since and is a free agent.
LB Kavell Conner — The Colts’ former seventh-round selection in 2010 appeared in 16 games with seven starts for the Chargers and had 70 tackles, one sack, one pass defended and one forced fumbles. They were the second-best numbers of his career to 2011, when he started 15 of 16 games for the Colts and had 104 tackles with two passes defended and one forced fumble. He started 36 of 52 games in his Colts career. He’s about to enter the second season of a three-year contract with the Chargers.
DT Aubrayo Franklin — He didn’t play again after starting 15 of 16 games for the Colts and recently accepted an assistant coaching job with the San Francisco 49ers. He played 11 NFL seasons for five teams, the Colts, 49ers, Chargers, New Orleans Saints and Baltimore Ravens.
DE/DT Clifton Geathers — After a brief stint on the practice squad, he played eight games for the Colts in 2012 and made five tackles with the only NFL sack of his five-year career. The Colts traded him to Philadelphia for fullback Stanley Havili on March 28, 2013. He appeared in a career-high 16 games with one start for the Eagles with 13 tackles in 2013. He signed as a free agent with Washington and appeared in six games for the Redskins with six tackles in 2014. He was released and signed with Pittsburgh, but did not play in a game. He has one more year remaining on his Steelers contract.
DE Lawrence Guy — He was signed off Green Bay’s practice squad in 2012 and played in nine games, with two starts, and had 18 tackles that season. He was among final preseason roster cuts before 2013 and was signed to Washington’s practice squad. The Colts claimed him yet again and he played in two games with four tackles but was waived in October. San Diego claimed him off waivers he appeared in 10 games for the Chargers in 2013 with 16 tackles, then three more games without a tackle in 2014. He was released again and claimed by Baltimore, where he played in 11 games with one start for the Ravens and made 16 tackles. He has two more years remaining on his contract with the Ravens.
DB Marshay Green — He played in one game and made three tackles in 2012 and hasn’t planed in the NFL since. He signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League and made 12 tackles as a reserve in 2014. He returned 19 punts for 129 yards (6.8 yard average) and eight kickoffs for 186 yards (23.3 yard average). He is under contract for next season.
FB Robert Hughes — He appeared in six games with one start in two seasons with the Colts and had one 5-yard rush and one 3-yard reception in 2012 and one 6-yard reception in 2013. He was released in May of 2013, re-signed in August but then released again after one game. He signed with Arizona and appeared in 16 games, including four starts, and had eight catches for 140 yards with seven rushes for 11 yards. He is under contract with the Cardinals for 2015.
S Joe Lefeged (Young) — He played in 36 games including five starts over the course of three seasons for the Colts and had 66 tackles. During the 2013 offseason, he was arrested for fleeing Washington, D.C., police, among other charges. The Colts released him after four games that season. He has not played another game since. He changed his name to Joe Young. He signed with Jacksonville but was cut near the end of 2014 training camp. He is currently a free agent.
DT Kellen Heard — He was signed in late November of the 2012 season and appeared in three games for the Colts and made one tackle. He was waived near the end of 2013 preseason and has not played again. He is currently a free agent.
TE Dominique Jones — The former undrafted pro signed with the Colts in 2012, was sent down to the practice squad and was released a season later in October 2013. He appeared in 10 games with three starts and had three receptions for 42 yards. The Chiefs signed Jones to the practice squad and eventually promoted him and he appeared in two games without any statistics. He was released in the offseason, signed with Buffalo, was released again, and signed with Denver. He appeared in one game for the Broncos without any statistics last season. He is under contract with the Broncos for 2015.
OT Tony Hills — He played six games with one start for the Colts in 2012. When he wasn’t retained, he bounced around from Buffalo to Oakland in 2013 but didn’t play in a game. After not playing in a 2014 game with Miami, he signed with Dallas and played in three games as a reserve for the Cowboys last season. He is currently a free agent.
OG Ben Ijalana — A surprise second-round selection in 2011, he appeared in just four games in his Colts career due to two knee injuries. He spent 2012 on injured reserve, then was waived injured at the start of 2013 preseason. The New York Jets claimed him off waivers in 2013. He did not appear in a game that season but played in three games for the Jets as a reserve last season. He is under contract with the Jets for 2015.
OL Jeff Linkenbach — The former undrafted rookie played in 16 games with three starts for the Kansas City Chiefs after starting in 33 of 60 games with the Colts for four seasons. He is currently a free agent.
LB Scott Lutrus — He appeared in four games in 2011 and made seven tackles, but those have been his only NFL statistics. His 2012 season was spent on injured reserve and then Lutrus was waived injured at the beginning of 2013 training camp. He has not played with another team since and is currently a free agent.
DE/DT Ricardo Mathews — He appeared in 52 games with six starts over the course of four seasons with the Colts and had 51 tackles with 1 1/2 sacks. He wasn’t retained and signed with Houston but was released before camp. San Diego signed him before the 2014 season and he appeared in 12 games including two starts and had a career-high 21 tackles, 1.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. He has one more season remaining on his contract with the Chargers.
OG Mike McGlynn — He signed with the Washington Redskins, but was released at the end of training camp and joined the Chiefs, for whom he started 13 of 14 games. In two seasons with the Colts, he started 30 of 31 games. The Chiefs were his fifth team in seven seasons. He is currently a free agent.
DT Drake Nevis — The former third-round selection in 2011 played 14 games with three starts for the Colts in two seasons and had 50 tackles with one sack. He was released in final roster cuts before the 2013 season. The Chargers claimed him but he did not play in a game for them and was released two weeks later. He signed with Dallas and spent much of the season with the Cowboys, appearing in 11 games with 13 tackles, until being released again in December. He signed with Jacksonville and played one game late in the season with two tackles. The Jaguars released him in May of 2014 and he did not play with a team last season. He is currently a free agent.
WR Nathan Palmer — Five games with the Colts in 2012 produced one reception for a 4-yard loss. He was waived in the 2013 preseason, added back to injured reserve then waived again. He spent 2013 on the Dolphins’ practice squad, then the Broncos’ practice squad. He was briefly on the Broncos’ active roster for 2014 before returning to the practice squad. He has not yet caught another pass. He is on the Broncos roster entering 2015 preseason.
C Samson Satele — The Colts released the inconsistent center with one year remaining on his contract and he signed a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins. He started all 16 games in his second stint with the team. He is currently a free agent.
TE Weslye Saunders — He was cut during the summer of 2013 after being suspended eight games for violating the league policy on performance-enhancing drugs. The Colts re-signed him after he served his suspension. He played in six games with one start in 2013 and had four catches for 46 yards. He played one game in 2014 for the Colts but did not have a catch and was waived again. He is currently a free agent.
CB Cassius Vaughn — After two seasons with the Colts, Vaughn signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions, for whom he appeared in 13 games, five of them starts, with 18 tackles, five passes defended and two interceptions. The numbers were a significant drop from his time in Indianapolis, where in two years he started 15 of 32 games played with a combined 96 tackles, 15 passes defended and four interceptions. He is currently a free agent.
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.