Guard Jake Scott, Five Others Become Free Agents
INDIANAPOLIS - Jake Scott has been a valuable member of the Colts for four seasons, a player Colts President Bill Polian recently said would be welcome back with "open arms."
As of 12:01 a.m. Friday, Scott is an unrestricted free agent.
Scott, an offensive guard and a fifth-round selection by the Colts in the 2004 NFL Draft, was among six players on the Colts roster last season who became unrestricted free agents Friday, the official start of the new league year. The others, as announced by the club:
Linebacker Rocky Boiman, defensive tackle Dan Klecko, wide receiver Aaron Moorehead, tight end Mike Seidman and defensive end Josh Thomas.
Polian said this past weekend that the team likely will not be proactive in attempting to re-sign Scott.
He also said the Colts wouldn't be a major force early in the free-agency period.
"We won't be ignoring free agency," Polian said Thursday. "We'll see what interests us, but we're not going to be out-of-the-box, $80-million players right off the bat. Probably not ever with those kinds of dollars. We'll be keeping a weather eye on it, but it's principally draft preparation now."
Five additional Colts players became restricted free agents Friday, and the team has issued offers to all five:
Tight end Bryan Fletcher, center/guard Dylan Gandy, safety Matt Giordano, defensive tackle Darrell Reid and tight end Ben Utecht.
Scott, who played collegiately at Idaho, started 57 of 60 games for the Colts and never has missed a game because of injury. He started all 16 games each of the last three regular seasons and has made eight postseason starts.
Boiman, who signed with the Colts as a free agent before the 2006 season after being released by Tennessee, started eight games in the last two seasons, including seven of 16 games this past season. He has started 19 of 86 games in six NFL seasons, and this past season, he had 64 tackles, a pass defensed and two interceptions.
Klecko, acquired off waivers from New England before the 2006 season, played 18 games the past two seasons as a reserve. He had 17 tackles in two seasons with the Colts, and scored a touchdown on a pass reception as a fullback in the 2006 AFC Championship Game.
Moorehead, who joined the Colts as a rookie free agent in 2003, caught 31 passes for 330 yards and a touchdown in the last five seasons. He caught eight passes for 65 yards this past season before being placed on injured reserve.
Thomas, who joined the Colts as a rookie free agent in 2004, started nine of 52 games the past four seasons, and was a key reserve behind Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. He recorded six sacks in four seasons, with three passes defensed, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. This past season, he started seven games, finishing with one sack and 14 quarterback pressures, third on the team.
Under NFL rules, an unrestricted free agent (UFA) has at least four years in the NFL with a contract expiring on Thursday, February 28. A UFA may sign with any team, with his former team receiving no compensation.
A restricted free agent (RFA) has three years in the NFL and his contract expires on February 28. The deadline for his team to submit a one-year qualifying offer to retain a right of first refusal or draft-pick compensation is February 28.
A player issued a qualifying offer can sign an offer sheet with another team through April 20. His previous team may either match the offer and retain the player, or receive compensation from the new team based on the level of the original qualifying offer.
The four restricted qualifying offers: $2.562 million (compensation: first-and third-round draft selections), $2.017 million (first-round), $1.417 million (second-round) and $927,000 (a draft selection in the same round the player was drafted).
Also on Friday, the Colts announced the addition of the following free agents since the end of the 2007 regular season:
Kicker Shane Andrus, quarterback Josh Betts, defensive tackle Joe Bradley, offensive lineman Mike Elgin, offensive lineman Tala Esera, running back Justise Hairston, defensive end Ben Ishola, wide receiver Onrea Jones, tight end Gijon Robinson, wide receiver Courtney Roby, center Pat Ross, linebacker Kyle Shotwell and punter Chad Stanley.
The team also had two exclusive rights free agents: defensive tackle Ed Johnson and wide receiver Craphonso Thorpe. The Colts tendered an offer to Johnson and made no offer to Thorpe, thus releasing him.
The team has waived linebacker Brandon Archer, who played in six games last season.