Bob Sanders, the safety whose tremendous talent has been overshadowed by his inability to stay healthy, has been released by the Indianapolis Colts.
Colts owner Jim Irsay revealed the news on Twitter, using 140 characters to thank Sanders for his contributions to the Colts and note that Sanders had earned a Super Bowl ring, picked off a pass in the Super Bowl and won a defensive player of the year award during his time in Indianapolis.
When he was healthy, Sanders was nothing less than one of the best players in the NFL. He had an impact on the Colts’ defense that few players in the league could match, which is why at the end of the 2007 season he was named the NFL’s defensive player of the year and rewarded with a contract that made him the league’s highest-paid safety.
But he just hasn’t been able to stay on the field since then: In the last three seasons Sanders has played in nine regular-season games and missed 39.
Sanders knows he’s going to need to take a pay cut for his career to continue, and the Colts may still be able to re-sign him at a significantly reduced salary. But first he’ll test the free agent market. He’s free to sign, right now, with any team that’s willing to take a chance on a talented but injury-plagued former star.