Sanders is one of the biggest difference makers in the NFL. When he’s healthy, he completely changes the Colts’ defense. When he’s hurt (which is almost always), the defense has absolutely no teeth. He was a big reason they won the Super Bowl in 2006, and he was named Defensive Player of the Year following the 2007 season.
The problem is that he got a huge contract after that award-winning season and has played in just nine regular season games in the past three years. The numbers just don’t add up.
Sanders has to know that he’s going to have to take a huge pay cut in his next gig. Will the Colts bring him back at a reduced price? It’s entirely possible. But this statement from Jim Irsay makes it sound like he’s gone.
“We have released Bob Sanders today,” Irsay said in a statement. “We thank Bob for all his incredible contributions, from his Super Bowl interception to his Defensive Player-of-the-Year honor.”
Sanders’ comment on his release makes it sound like a goodbye to the Colts as well.
“I want to thank Mr. (Jim) Irsay for the opportunity to play with the Colts,” Sanders said. “I appreciate all he and the organization did for me throughout my career, and I always will consider myself a Colt. I want to thank the fans also for their great support. They played a big part in making my seven years with the team very rewarding.”
It’s a shame this had to happen because he’s so damn good. However, it’s like they say, “you can’t make the club in the tub.”