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Indianapolis Colts Resign Defensive End Robert Mathis: Fan’s Reaction
The Indianapolis Colts have resigned Pro Bowl defensive end Robert Mathis to a long term contract. The deal came down to the wire, and even forced the team to use their franchise tag while terms were being worked out. The deal is expected to be worth up to $36 million over the course of four years. This means that it will run through the 2015 season and end when Mathis is 35 years old. This deal will carry him through the prime of his career with the Indianapolis Colts.
Mathis is coming off a great season where he had 43 tackles, 9.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and one pass defensed. He earned his third Pro Bowl selection in 2011. Throughout much of the season, Mathis was a more productive player than his counterpart Dwight Freeney.
The biggest question fans will now have is where will Mathis play in the teams new hybrid 3-4 defense? I think he'll be a perfect fit for a 3-4 rush outside linebacker. When the team goes to a traditional 4-3, he'll likely assuming his familiar role at left defensive end. I think Mathis is the perfect blend of size and speed to excel in a role very similar to how the Baltimore Ravens use linebacker and 2011 NFL defensive player of the year Terrell Suggs.
I think this is an excellent deal for the team and one that Mathis can also be happy with. It's much more affordable than a player like Dwight Freeney, but will also pay Robert like he deserves, as one of the premier pass rushers in the game. Mathis had long been underrated as a player and deserves to be discussed as one of the top pass rushers in the NFL. Mathis should excel with Chuck Pagano and Greg Manusky's attacking defensive schemes. I think that it wouldn't be a far reach to say that Mathis' best seasons could still be ahead of him.
In the end, there is no amount that is too much to pay for a pass rusher. The league is built now on passing the ball and stopping the pass. Like the New York Giants have proved, nothing is more important than having quality pass rushers. Robert Mathis is one of the best pass rushers you'll find.
Kyle Rapoza is a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network and has been a lifelong fan of the Indianapolis Colts. He attended Super Bowl XLIV in Miami and follows the team closely. He runs a blog about the team at www.coltsfansonline.com. Follow him on Twitter @kyler11.
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