Defensive end Robert Mathis turned 31 last month, but the Colts believe he’s got several good years left.
According to Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star, Mathis’ new contract — announced by the club Monday evening — is valued at $36 million over four seasons.
Per Chappell, Mathis received a $15 million signing bonus. That’s a lot of up-front money and proration, so this is hardly a phony four-year deal. Chappell also reports that Mathis will get $17 million in the contract’s first year and $24 million over the first two.
Add Mathis’ $17 million in first-year payments to teammate Dwight Freeney’s $14.035 million base salary, and the Colts will be forking over in excess of $31 million to two defensive ends, both over the age of 30, in 2012.
Unless Freeney, 32, is quietly on the chopping block and we just don’t know it yet.