Saturday is the key. Indianapolis would like to bring the four-time Pro Bowl selection back if the right kind of deal can be worked out for the right amount of money. Indianapolis officials opted not to franchise him Thursday.
“He’s with us until otherwise indicated,” Caldwell said. “He’s been and [the Colts] certainly anticipate him to continue to be a very, very important part of our offense.”
Other potential unrestricted free agents are cornerback Keiwan Ratliff, defensive tackle Darrell Reid and defensive end Josh Thomas. Offensive guard/tackle Dan Federkeil will be a restricted free agent, while running back Lance Ball, middle linebacker Buster Davis and defensive tackle Daniel Muir are exclusive-rights free agents.
“Right now, we’re in the process of evaluating. We’re working our way through this free agency process. We’ll see. We’re all kind of looking at some things from kind of different vantage points, see if we can put together a package where we can get the guys back on the field that we certainly need and desire,” the Colts’ coach said.
• Don’t count on other team’s free agents — Indianapolis has not been a major player in the veteran free-agent market since Bill Polian took over as the team’s president in 1998. That is not expected to change this year. The Colts prefer to re-sign their own and develop personnel through the draft.
That’s not to say that Indianapolis won’t look at who’s available, but at this point — especially with the team’s salary-cap situation — looking is about all the Colts can afford to do. Tennessee defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth had joked at the Pro Bowl about Peyton Manning’s attempts to have him consider Indianapolis as a potential destination for his services.