Just before the 2005 season started, the Colts added a former Butkus Award winner to their linebacker corps by trading for Rocky Calmus. With an established record as a big hitter and strong leadership skills, it appeared the Colts had struck gold, adding much-needed depth, an immediate specials teams contributor, and a player who could easily contend for a starter's role as the season wore on.
But before he got to play a single game as a Colt, Calmus suffered a hamstring tear that required surgery. He spent the 2005 season on injured reserve while healing and putting himself through the rigors of rehab.
According to one of our sources, Calmus is currently working out in Arizona with Jay Schroeder, Dwight Freeney's trainer. He's moving well and by all indications is showing no detrimental impact from the hamstring tear. If Calmus had to start offseson workouts today with a team, he'd be able to do so with no problem.
To date, the Colts apparently haven't made any serious overtures to re-sign Calmus, but the Colts may be waiting until their own medical team gets to examine Calmus after he returns from Arizona later this month.
Based on a statement Colts president Bill Polian made towards the end of last year, it would be a real surprise if the Colts didn't attempt to bring Calmus back, especially since they gave up a seventh-round pick in this year's draft for him.
"We're looking forward to having him with us next year," he said.
The feeling appears to be mutual, based on Calmus' comments to ColtPower during an interview in December.
"It's heart-breaking for me to not be able to get out there and show them (the Colts fans) my ability on the field," he said. "But hopefully I'll be able to show them next year."
So while both Polian and Calmus appear to be on the same page as to how they'd ideally like things to turn out in 2006, the Colts could be treading in some dangerous waters by waiting too long to make an offer.
ColtPower has learned from one of our network sources that six teams have made preliminary inquiries with varying degrees of interest -- despite being only a few days into the free agency signing period. Those teams include AFC South rival Jacksonville, Dallas, Seattle, Miami, New Orleans and San Francisco.
Based on what we've heard over the last few months, Calmus is approaching this season as one in which he wants to reestablish his value -- just as many other NFL stars have done following a serious injury. For Calmus, this season isn't as much about money or a long-term deal as it is about re-establishing his reputation as a formidable player at his position.
Calmus will be an impact player again in the NFL based on all the reports we're receiving about his rehab and conditioning. And the Colts need a veteran presence who could step into David Thornton's strongside linebacker spot. Finances were a major factor in the Thornton loss, which was understandable. But with Calmus that's just not the case.
Hopefully, the Colts don't let this situation linger to the point where they lose another talented linebacker, perhaps even to another AFC South rival like the Jaguars.
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