The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Sports

February 1, 2012

Irsay: Mathis, Garcon are priorities

INDIANAPOLIS — Expect defensive end Robert Mathis and wide receiver Pierre Garcon to be priorities for the Indianapolis Colts during free agency.

According to Colts owner Jim Irsay, Mathis and Garcon are both unrestricted free agents and appear to be the cornerstones for the team moving forward. Veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne, meanwhile, may be suiting up for another team in 2012.

Irsay thinks deals can get worked out with Mathis and Garcon. At least that’s the plan.

“I think we can (sign Mathis). We’d like to get something done there. We have the (franchise) tag if we don’t, but I think we’ll get something done,” he said Wednesday during an

impromptu meeting with media at the Super Bowl Media Center.

“We’d like to have Pierre back for sure. We want to get something done along those lines. You could tag either Robert or (Garcon), but the goal would be to get something done sooner than later on those guys.”

Re-signing Mathis, in particular, might mean that defensive end Dwight Freeney will be asked to restructure his contract.

“That’s something that you can consider. You don’t always know if its possible with just one year left (on Freeney’s current deal). But, no question about it, when you look where we are with the (salary) cap, even if you look at making some significant roster changes to help the situation some, you’re still at a difficult point with the cap,” Irsay said.

“It didn’t go up. We were cash over cap last year. We have a real challenge there where the cap stands period. We’re going to have to be thoughtful in terms in how we go about that. There’s just not that much room this year. In a couple years, particularly even next year, it will probably look better. But this year there’s not a lot of room.”

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