The Colts have released one of their starting offensive players from last season, announcing today in a press release that they’ve parted ways with right tackle Gosder Cherilus. As a veteran player, Cherilus won’t have to pass through waivers, and will immediately be free to sign with another team.
Cherilus, who turned 31 last month, signed a five-year, $35MM contract with the Colts in 2013, and started 29 games for the club at right tackle over the past two seasons. However, after a solid first season in Indianapolis, he struggled last year. Pro Football Focus (subscription required) ranked Cherilus 70th out of 84 qualified tackles, and he graded particularly poorly as a pass blocker. According to PFF’s data, he allowed six quarterback sacks, another 42 hits or hurries.
Because he received a sizable signing bonus when he signed his deal back in 2013, Cherilus will still count for a decent chunk of dead money against the Colts’ cap. His $6.9MM hit in 2015 will be reduced to just $2.9MM, but he’ll count for another $5.8MM against the club’s 2016 cap. All that dead money will serve as the Colts’ latest reminder of a poor class of 2013 free agents — the club has since cut LaRon Landry and Ricky Jean-Francois as well.
Now that the Colts have moved on from Cherilus, who was identified by our Dallas Robinson earlier this month as a release candidate, expect Jack Mewhort to get the first look at right tackle for the Colts, tweets Mike Wells of ESPN.com. Mewhort was the team’s starting left guard in 2014.