Colts DE Mathis gets tag; sides agree on new contract

Posted March 05, 2012 @ 5:35 p.m.
Posted By PFW staff

Updated 5:35 p.m. ET on Monday, March 5

The Colts used their franchise tag on DE Robert Mathis, though the two sides have agreed upon a new contract.

Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star first reported that a deal was reached, but not before the deadline to tag players, so the Colts used the franchise tag.

"Indianapolis and the three-time Pro Bowler have until March 13 to complete the deal, with that date marking the start of the league year," the Colts said in a statement. "As a procedural matter, the franchise tag was applied to Mathis while the contract details are being finalized."

Mathis had 43 tackles and 9½ sacks last season. In his nine NFL seasons, all with Indianapolis, Mathis has 83½ career sacks and 39 forced fumbles.

The Way We See It

The general consensus was that the Colts would place the tag on either Mathis or WR Pierre Garcon. At 31, Mathis has less upside than Garcon, but he is a much more consistent performer who will be a key figure in new head coach Chuck Pagano's transition to a 3-4 defense. Mathis, who was poised to land a big deal had he hit the free-agent market, is unlikely to be pleased with the Colts' decision — unless a long-term deal is still in the works.