Soon NFL fans won’t be able to recognize these Indianapolis Colts.
After releasing legendary quarterback Peyton Manning earlier this week, the Colts also decided to cut several players who played key roles for the franchise.
The Colts cut tight end Dallas Clark, running back Joseph Addai, linebacker Gary Brackett and safety Melvin Bullitt. Curtis Painter, who struggled for the Colts after Manning was unable to play in 2011 due to injuries, was also released on Friday, according to reports.
“All these players, we’d love to have them here,” general manager Ryan Grigson said, according to the Associated Press. “It’s not easy. It’s agonizing. They’re (salary) cap casualties. It’s hard, but with the money involved you can’t do certain things.”
Colts fans have grown accustomed to their favorite team’s regular season dominance of the AFC for more than a decade, but after a disastrous season last year, which saw them win only two games, the front office is clearly ready to rebuild from the ground up.
That includes the NFL Draft. The Colts hold the No. 1 overall pick and are expected to sign Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.
“Hopefully the fans understand that to achieve the success again that we have had before, we have to make some tough decisions,” Grigson said.
The team released a statement from team owner Jim Irsay, saying:
“These players all made tremendous contributions to the organization and will forever be members of the Colts family. It’s always difficult to make these decisions, which the nature of the salary cap requires.”
Clark, 32, spent his entire nine-year career with the Colts. He was a reliable target for Manning, bailing out the quarterback countless times. He had 427 receptions and more than 4,800 yards receiving for the Colts.
Addai, 28, spent six seasons in Indianapolis and rushed for 4,453 yards.
-With Associated Press