The Indianapolis Star reports the following:
The Indianapolis Colts re-signed two restricted free agents and have agreed to terms with one of their unrestricted free agents. Guard Ryan Lilja has signed his one-year, $1.3 million contract while linebacker Gilbert Gardner has signed a one-year, $850,000 contract. Both players had been issued one-year tenders as restricted free agents.Meanwhile, defensive tackle Dan Klecko, one of the team’s unrestricted free agents, has agreed to a one-year contract, according to his agent, Paul Sheehy. Financial terms were not available, but Sheehy said the deal included “significant guarantees.’’
Klecko and Lilja coming back is good. Hey, they couldn’t lose everyone on the team, right? Gilbert “the pride of Purdue University” Gardner, on the other hand, strikes fear in the heart of the true Colts fan.
Greg Rakestraw from ESPN950′s SportsDesk in Indianapolis pointed out that the contract is not guaranteed (obviously) and perhaps the Colts plan on making Gilbert Gardner their Weakside Linebacker (his original position with the team, a spot where he played well in 2005). In theory Rakestraw’s point makes sense, but do we really want to see Gardner take on a role that requires more responsibility and more *GASP* tackling? It is probably a risk worth taking because the contract is small and the need for LBs is great.
It would be kind of hilarious if at the end of the season we are talking about Gilbert for Comeback Player of the Year. Nawwwwww, not possible.