If Tarik Glenn Retires, What Then?

Multiple media sources are reporting that Colts offensive tackle Tarik Glenn could retire prior to the start of Indianapolis' training camp next weekend. If he does, what's the impact on the Colts in 2007? Ed Thompson shares his take on the potential impact on the team -- and their options.

It could be the end of an era in Indianapolis if a rumored retirement announcement by offensive tackle Tarik Glenn comes true next week. According to published reports, sources close to the Pro Bowl offensive tackle -- who has protected Peyton Manning's blindside for the last 138 games of his career -- is considering retirement rather than reporting to training camp at the end of the month.

The 31-year old lineman had reportedly talked to Tony Dungy this past week, but Dungy wouldn't comment on the conversation. And Glenn's agent, Ralph Cindrich, told inquiring reporters that any comment on the situation would have to come from his client.

If Glenn has decided to call an end to his career, there are financial and personnel impacts for the team as they prepare to defend their title.

Glenn was in the final year of his contract that would have paid him $4.5 million in salary, a figure the Colts would save against the salary cap if he does retire. But they would still take an estimated $3.55 million hit in prorated bonus money previously paid out.

The team surrendered its 2008 first-round pick to select Arkansas lineman Tony Ugoh in the second-round of this year's draft amidst speculation that he would become Glenn's replacement at the end of the season. While the Colts initially planned to take a look at Ugoh at guard this year, that plan would be quickly scuttled by Glenn's retirement.

But would they trust their franchise quarterback's blindside to a rookie in a season where the team hopes to repeat their Super Bowl fortunes?

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Not likely. Not unless Ugoh is able to show that he can't be beat in training camp. Veteran Ryan Diem isn't a great choice either, as he's most effective as a run blocker.

The most likely candidate to emerge this year is second-year offensive tackle Charlie Johnson, who just a little more than 2 years ago was a tight end at Oklahoma State. But Johnson was impressive in every outing in which he appeared last year, including extensive playing time in the Super Bowl.

A humble and intelligent player, Johnson can lay claim to the job in camp if it's open and if the Colts give him the opportunity. He uses good positioning, makes his reads well and has a calm demeanor that serves him well in the chaos of the trenches.

Would the Colts look at available free agents instead? Well, they could, but there's just not much talent out there at this point capable of stepping in at that level while also having to learn Indy's offensive scheme. Some of the top free agent tackles available at the moment include names like Kyle Turley, Kenyatta Walker, and Zach Wiegert. Bottom line, the Colts would be wise to stick with Charlie Johnson before going after one of them, unless it's just for some veteran depth.

Of course, until we hear from Tarik Glenn, it's all just speculation. But it certainly does add a touch of eleventh-hour drama to the Colts training camp picture. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out in the coming days.

A member of the Professional Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's NFL and college football player interviews and features have been published across the Scout.com network and syndicated through FoxSports.com's NFL team pages.

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