If there is to be yet another injury-related comeback for Bob Sanders, it will be with a team other than the Indianapolis Colts.
The team terminated the contract today of their veteran safety. Owner Jim Irsay first announced the transaction via his official Twitter account.
“We have released Bob Sanders today,’’ Irsay said in a subsequent statement through the team. “We thank Bob for all his incredible contributions, from his Super Bowl interception to his Defensive Player of the Year honor.’’
The decision to release Sanders, while significant, doesn’t come as a surprise.
Since Sanders signed a five-year, $37.5 million extension in 2007 after becoming the first Colts player to be selected Defensive Player of the Year, knee and biceps injuries limited him to nine regular-season appearances over the past three seasons. He missed the final 15 games and the playoff loss to the New York Jets last year after tearing his right biceps tendon in the first quarter of the season opener at Houston.
Sanders was due a $5.5 million base salary in 2011.
“I want to thank Mr. (Jim) Irsay for the opportunity to play with the Colts,’’ he said in a statement through the team. “I appreciate all he and the organization did for me throughout my career, and I always will consider myself a Colt.
“I want to thank the fans also for their support. They played a big part in making my seven years with the team very rewarding.’’
Along with being voted the top defensive player in the league in ’07, Sanders was named to the Pro Bowl in 2005 and ’07.
However, he had a difficult time staying on the field. Sanders missed far more games (64) than he appeared in (48) since being selected in the second round of the 2004 draft.