INDIANAPOLIS, IN (The Spread) – The Indianapolis Colts depleted this year’s pass rushing market by reaching a deal with defensive end Robert Mathis.
The contract is worth $36 million over four seasons and includes a $15 million signing bonus. Mathis, 31, registered 9.5 sacks and three forced fumbles in 16 games last season and has been a key part of the Colts’ pass rush since being selected in the fifth round of the 2003 NFL Draft out of Alabama A&M.
Mathis could have become an unrestricted free agent next week if the two sides had not worked out a new deal or if the Colts had not used the franchise tag on him. He and Dwight Freeney will continue to be one of the best pass-rushing tandems in the NFL, although it’ll be interesting to see how each player fares in new head coach Chuck Pagano’s hybrid defense.
Along with Mario Williams, Cliff Avril and John Abraham, Mathis was considered to be one of the best edge rushers on the market. Avril was franchise tagged by the Lions on Monday, so that now leaves Williams, Abraham and Mark Anderson as the top free agent defensive ends available when the league’s free agent period starts on March 13.
The Colts opened as 40/1 long shots to win the 2013 Super Bowl but their odds have since climbed to 50/1. Their odds to win the AFC conference championship game next year have also fallen from 18/1 to 23/1.Want More From TheSpread.com? Follow us on Twitter and Facebook or Subscribe to Our News Feeds!