Phillip Dorsett’s arrival led to Josh Cribbs’ immediate departure.
The Indianapolis Colts released Cribbs, a 10-year wide receiver and return specialist, on Friday to free up a role for Dorsett, who was selected with the 29th overall choice in Thursday’s NFL draft in Chicago.
General manager Ryan Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano said they liked the speedy Dorsett’s ability as a returner in addition to being a slot receiver.
Cribbs played only one season for the Colts, for whom he returned 19 punts for 125 yards and 19 kickoffs for 608 yards with a long return of 76 yards. He had one touchdown return negated by a penalty.
While Cribbs showed some of the burst that made him one of the NFL’s best returners in his prime, he wasn’t as explosive as in his days with the Cleveland Browns from 2005 to 2012. Colts fans will remember him most for muffing a punt against New England in January’s 45-7 AFC Championship Game loss at Foxborough, Mass.
The roster move shaves Cribbs’ entire $970,000 for the last year of his contract from the salary cap for next season.
Cribbs has also played for the Oakland Raiders and New York Jets, both in 2013. In 136 career games, he has returned 222 punts for 2,375 yards and three touchdowns and has handled 426 kickoff returns for 11,113 yards and eight TDs.
The draft continues Friday with the Colts scheduled to make selections in the second (61st overall) and third (93rd) rounds. The three-day event concludes Saturday with rounds four through seven, in which the Colts have six more choices.
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.