With Colts safety Bob Sanders back on injured reserve with a season-ending elbow injury, some league observers have raised the possibility that the Colts might not bring him back in 2010.
Colts G.M. Bill Polian threw water on that notion during his Monday radio show.
“This is simply bad luck,” Polian said, via John Oesher of Examiner.com. “He is no different a
player — and I think everybody saw that in the couple of games he
played this year — than when he was Defensive Player of the Year in the
NFL. He’s just had a lot of tough luck with injury. We have
invested a lot of money in him and I see no reason why we would —
assuming this next procedure goes as expected and there are no
complications and the knee continues to improve as it has — I wouldn’t
see why we would not bring him back. That, to me, just seems to be
foolish. . . .
“Luck plays a role in this business,” Polian added. “There’s no two ways
about that. There’s no reason to believe Bob won’t be the same player
he was after these injuries as long as he continues with rehab and
works out religiously and as I told him, with a good offseason program
that’s injury free and rehab free, if he can get back with a real good
feeling about his ability to lay it on the line, he’ll be an even
better player than he was before he was injured. I think barring
unforeseen circumstance Bob Sanders figures prominently in our plan.”
Here’s our take. Actually, we’ve got a couple of them.
First, we agree that luck plays a role in the business of football. In Bob Sanders’ case, however, if his injuries are the result of bad luck we suggest that he never play blackjack, craps, roulette, or Russian roulette.
Since signing his big-money deal after the 2007 season, Sanders has played in eight games. Before that, he missed 25 games in only four NFL seasons.
Second, before ever cutting Sanders the Colts would try to find someone to trade for him. And so Polian would need to have maximum leverage if/when trade talks happen. And leverage would never be maximized if Polian were to lend any credence to the possibility of cutting Sanders.
In other words, if Polian is wondering whether someone else would be willing to trade for Sanders, Polian needs to act like he fully intends to keep Sanders around.
So the “unforeseen circumstances” to which Polian refers include, in our view, the Colts continuing to play well without him — and someone else making the Colts an unsolicited trade offer that they deem to be acceptable.