Indianapolis Colts Free Agent Confidential

For nearly a decade, the Colts have been among the best in professional football. The key to their success, Peyton Manning, is still at or near the top of his game, but the surrounding cast is fading fast and the club has some very serious cap problems to deal with today. Veteran scout Tom Marino gives his analysis of the team's current predicament inside.

Name Position Experience Salary Rating
Jeff Saturday Center 10 5,188,500 GREEN
Tyjuan Hagler Linebacker 3 1,423,500 PURPLE
Josh Thomas Defensive End 4 1,000,000 PURPLE
Matt Giordano Safety 3 932,500 ORANGE
Darrell Reid Defensive Tackle 3 930,850 ORANGE
Kelvin Hayden Cornerback 3 807,500 ORANGE
Dominic Rhodes Running Back 7 486,500 ORANGE
Keiwan Ratliff Defensive Back 4 433,500 ORANGE

Top Free Agent: Saturday

Starters: 2

Must Re-Sign: None

Top FA Need: LB, DC, WR

Comments: Once again, this club faces the task of rebuilding around franchise quarterback Peyton Manning. Running back Dominic Rhodes returned early in the 2008 season and made a solid contribution. At the right price, the Colts would certainly welcome his return.

The same cannot be said for offensive center Jeff Saturday, a ten-year veteran who is almost certain to become a salary cap casualty. Teams in this league do not normally commit five million dollars to the offensive center position, and with the emergence of three rookie offensive linemen in 2008, I would say his days as a Colt are likely over.

Another fixture who is not likely to return is 36 year old receiver Marvin Harrison. The 13-year veteran no longer possesses the deep speed and is showing sign of breaking down physically. My belief is that the club will cut ties with the future Hall of Fame receiver, his big cap number and huge bonus due this spring.

Any club that has Manning at the helm is going to have a real chance, but it is going to get increasingly more difficult with each coming year.

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