Mathis Receives Highest Contract Tender

The Colts made it very difficult for any other team to take defensive end Robert Mathis from them in 2006 by offering him the highest possible contract tender.

Despite a tumultuous environment caused by the impending lack of a Collective Bargaining Agreement extension, the Colts pushed forward today in their pursuit of their own key free agents.

Today, the Colts placed a one-year contract offer on the table for defensive end and pass-rush specialist Robert Mathis. The Colts decided to minimize the opportunity to lose him by offering the highest possible tender -- $2.069 million. Should Mathis get a better offer from another team after free agency opens on Friday, the Colts would have the opportunity to match it. If they decline to do so, Mathis' new team would also have to surrender both a first- and third-round draft pick to the Colts.

Mathis has been credited with 22 sacks over the past two seasons, including 11.5 in 2005 despite missing three games due to injury. He's a difference-maker, having forced eight fumbles in the 13 games that he appeared in this season. In 2004 against the Houston Texans, he forced three fumbles in a single game.

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