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Mathis skipping Colts' OTAs, wants a new contract

Indianapolis Colts defensive end Robert Mathis is sitting out the Colts’ organized team activities because he wants a new contract.

Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star reports that Mathis, who in the past has been an eager participant in voluntary workouts, is now staying home over his unhappiness with his deal.

But it’s hard to see how Mathis has very much leverage. The Colts signed him to a front-loaded contract worth $30 million in 2006, and he still has two more seasons on that deal. He’s due base salaries of $2.31 million in 2010 and $2.4 million in 2011. The whole reason teams sign players to front-loaded long-term contracts is so that they can lock a player in for affordable salaries down the road. If the team was going to agree to renegotiate down the road, there was no reason to agree to a front-loaded deal.

Furthermore, the Colts have already said that their first priority is re-doing quarterback Peyton Manning’s contract. They’re not going to start spending big money on other players until they’re sure they have enough money to get Manning locked in.

And then there’s this harsh reality that NFL players all eventually have to face: Mathis is 29 now and will be 31 by the time his contract expires, and the Colts spent their first-round draft pick on a defensive end, Jerry Hughes. If anything, the Colts are starting to plan for a future without Mathis, not planning to give him a new deal.

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7 Responses to “Mathis skipping Colts' OTAs, wants a new contract”
  1. IndyWilson says: May 26, 2010 8:31 AM

    Hey Mathis, get your ass in camp or lose your job to Hughes.

  2. Zach says: May 26, 2010 9:22 AM

    “The whole reason teams sign players to front-loaded long-term contracts is so that they can lock a player in for affordable salaries down the road. If the team was going to agree to renegotiate down the road, there was no reason to agree to a front-loaded deal.”
    So? Why dont you blame the Colts like PFT blame the Eagles?

  3. ar1888 says: May 26, 2010 9:22 AM

    The OTA”s are voluntary. As long as he shows up for training camp. Im not going to worry about it. Reggie Wayne also skips the OTA”s every year, and it has not been a problem.

  4. The Hoff says: May 26, 2010 9:38 AM

    for real @IndyWilson – I saw Jerry Hughes at Chipotle, that dude is a Man among boys. He is gonna be a stud.

  5. kpweaver27 says: May 26, 2010 10:16 AM

    Mathis is great and the Colts have to keep him, but once you’ve signed a front loaded deal you cant renegotiate after getting the bulk of your money. That’s selfish, and won’t serve him well.

  6. EverybodyGotAIDS says: May 26, 2010 10:26 AM

    The guy knows that the writing is on the wall, and this could be his last chance to hold the Colts hostage (who knows if Hughes will do anything at all at this point? If Hughes is great, Mathis loses alot of leverage next season. While he’s still an unknown, he could get that extension). Of course, if he doesn’t get his extension and Hughes is awful, he’ll have even more leverage next year. Risk on both sides.

  7. Bious says: May 26, 2010 5:01 PM

    Anyone that has played w/ Peyton knows that Peyton wants EVERYONE at camp and anyone who is not…will suffer
    Good luck getting back on peyton’s right side

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