February 25, 2009

Colts Release Marvin Harrison: The Indianapolis Colts have released wide receiver Marvin Harrison, freeing up $13.9 million under their salary cap for the 2009 season. The move followed an unsuccessful attempt to renegotiate his contract and was at his request. During their 11-year association, quarterback Peyton Manning and Harrison led the Colts to 117 regular-season wins, nine playoff trips and a win in Super Bowl XLI.

posted by rcade to football at 09:36 AM - 12 comments

He won't last long on the free agency market.

In a way, though, it represents the end of the Colts Dynasty in a way that Edge leaving didn't. Not that I don't think the Colts will continue to be successful, but I don't think people will see them in the same way anymore.

posted by Bonkers at 11:45 AM on February 25, 2009

He won't last long on the free agency market.

Is that true though? Given he's lost a couple of steps and turned out to be a less-than-savory person off the field, what's his role? Do teams know if he'll be ok being the 2nd or 3rd option? And how much will he expect to be paid?

ESPN was talking about him in the past tense yesterday and suggesting he was afraid of contact now. Of course it's ESPN's m.o. to overstate everything, but it does sound like there are questions.

posted by yerfatma at 12:00 PM on February 25, 2009

For the Colts, they might be OK. Like other franchises, they previously lost a banner guy and went farther than before.

Edge went to Arizona, then the Colts won the SB. (And then Edge got his own trip to the big one with the Cards).

This seems to happen fairly often. Nomar leaves the Sox and boom, curse over; Tennessee wins the NCAA championship after Peyton's gone, etc.

The word on Harrison for a while has been that he was shy of contact, and the later it got in the season, the more shy he was of it.

People have talked about Peyton's shortcomings in the postseason, but I'd be interested in going back and looking at what Harrison's playoff production and impact was like. Did he suck it up and make plays game in, game out?

The Colts always seemed to be a team that needed a game script to go perfectly according to plan in order to prevail, and they did a better job of accomplishing that in the regular season than the postseason. Perhaps Harrison was the guy who most needed to have things go smoothly with the least adversity in order to excel. I see Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark as being more the type to say: "just get the ball to me and I'll make it happen regardless".

I don't think Marv wants to go to a physical team like the Eagles or Steelers. They like to see their wideouts do some downfield blocking now and then.

posted by beaverboard at 12:24 PM on February 25, 2009

The word on Harrison for a while has been that he was shy of contact, and the later it got in the season, the more shy he was of it.

Yeah, Harrison has always been like that. It used to bug me that no one ever criticized him for it. If Randy Moss did that play after play, there would have been hell to pay. The announcers used to say Harrison was smart to step out of bounds to avoid the big hit to preserve his body (you don't want to needlessly risk an injury). I guess now the same thing is given a different interpretation. I noticed Wayne did it last season which was disappointing. I think Harrison will find a home, but not as the number 1 receiver because those days are gone for him.

I do think the whole tenor of the Colts with Dungy and Harrison leaving will be totally different.

posted by bperk at 01:06 PM on February 25, 2009

I live in Indy, and I can say right now that him leaving wont be that big a deal. Its true, he always shyed away from hits. the colts will still have wayne, clark, and gonzales for receivers, plus knowing how how polian drafts, he will get another wideout for manning to throw to. the biggest problem the colts will have is resigning jeff saturday( the pro bowl center). manning tends to use the shotgun more often without him shoring up the middle of the line, and that is what he needs the most, pass protection. the only real tragedy is that a potential hall of fame player wont again be able to stay on the same team his whole career. but then again, thats how the nfl works nowadays.

posted by canes09 at 02:38 PM on February 25, 2009

Just remembering that Marvin also played his college ball indoors on a rug.

Maybe that explains part of his competitive personality.

Be interesting to see if he goes to a dome team or not.

I'm thinking Atlanta. Warmer weather outdoor division games. Plus a Saints away game in the Superdome. About the softest possible overall game conditions you can get over the course of a season. 13 out of 16 games either indoors or in mild weather.

Plus the Bucs just let Derrick Brooks go (!!!), so the defensive intensity in that division just went down a tick. And Peppers will not be playing in Carolina in the fall, so there's another step down (because he wants to be an OLB in a 3-4 scheme).

posted by beaverboard at 05:19 PM on February 25, 2009

I don't really see the market being all that huge for Harrison. As yerfatma mentioned, his off-field issues and controversy isn't going to help his case, and not having a mega-strong personality like Peyton Manning running the show will be a problem for any team who brings him in that doesn't have a big-name QB. That really narrows down the potential-suitors. I've never been convinced his attitude in the locker room has been all that appealing either. It's easy to fit in well on a team like the Colts when you're successful and putting up huge numbers with one of the best offenses in recent football history. But if he goes to a situation where a team is still struggling to find it's own identity, either as a offense or as a team in general, I don't see him remaining productive or happy. His best days are behind him, and he's proven he can't bounce back too quickly from injury.

posted by dyams at 05:32 PM on February 25, 2009

I'm curious about whether Harrison might be a good fit for the Jaguars. They need receiving help after the Jerry Porter bust, and he'd get to play his old team twice a year.

posted by rcade at 12:10 AM on February 26, 2009

Personally, I have no problem with receivers stepping out of bounds or sliding before the big hit. It is very much job security. How about the Rams? Not sure if they'll cough up the dough but it'd be nice to see Holt have some help.

posted by BoKnows at 01:15 AM on February 26, 2009

What the networks want: Marvin going to the Giants.

So the other Manning boy can throw to him.

Anything that creates a story line connection between the two Manning brothers makes the league and the networks soil their trousers.

Then Plax can shoot himself in his other leg with Marvin's gun.

posted by beaverboard at 08:28 AM on February 26, 2009

Question: Who's more appealing: Marvin Harrison now that he's been let go by the Colts, or Keyshawn Johnson two years ago when he was released by the Panthers? I think I'm more than a little surprised by my own answer to this question.

posted by bender at 09:09 AM on February 26, 2009

Plus the Bucs just let Derrick Brooks go (!!!), so the defensive intensity in that division just went down a tick.

More than a tick. They are starting numerous unproven players on their defensive just for the fun of it. I'm so disappointed in the Bucs these days. Sometimes I question why I am loyal to a team that is not loyal to anyone. The owners are gutting the Bucs, so they can afford Manchester Utd.

Question: Who's more appealing: Marvin Harrison now that he's been let go by the Colts, or Keyshawn Johnson two years ago when he was released by the Panthers?

Keyshawn at his best was just a big possession receiver. Harrison is in an altogether different league. I think the market for Harrison is based on how much money he is looking for. I don't think he is a locker room cancer, and he has had one incident that he didn't even get charged in. I think he lost some of his pristine reputation, but I doubt teams are going to be worried too much about off-the-field issues. If I was looking for a receiver like Harrison, I'd probably go with Galloway because Galloway does what Harrison does, but much cheaper.

posted by bperk at 10:58 AM on February 26, 2009

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