Anthony Castonzo

Colts’ Anthony Castonzo Retires From NFL

Colts left tackle Anthony Castonzo is retiring from the NFL. His decision leaves the Colts with another major hole to fill in the offseason.

I was fortunate to have been drafted by the Colts ten years ago,” Castonzo wrote. “I was even more fortunate to spend my entire career here in Indianapolis. The Indianapolis Colts is a special organization with special ownership who fill the organization with special people at every level. I truly believe this is the best organization in all of sports. I am lucky to have been able to call myself a Colt for the past ten years and will consider myself a Colt for the rest of my life.”

I have given much to the game of football, but it has given me so much more. I close the book on the football chapter of my life gifted with memories and moments I wouldn’t trade for anything. So thank you, last but far from least, to football.

The 10-year veteran first came into the league as the No. 22 overall pick in the 2011 draft. Since then, he’s started in all of his 144 career regular season games, plus eight playoff games. This year, he wasn’t able to join the Colts for their postseason. Just before the team’s regular season finale, Castonzo went under the knife for ankle surgery. The Colts would then lose to the Bills in the Wild Card round.

The Colts have been blessed with many talented offensive linemen throughout our rich history and Anthony Castonzo is among the best to represent the Horseshoe,” Colts owner Jim Irsay said. “For 10 seasons, Anthony consistently handled premier pass rushers at one of the toughest positions to play. He quickly developed into the leader of our offensive line and set a standard for preparation, strength and conditioning, and play. Anthony deserves a tremendous amount of credit for helping our offensive line mature into one of the best units in the NFL. He will sorely be missed, but we are so appreciative of AC’s contribution to our organization and we congratulate him on a fantastic career.”

Though Castonzo has never made the Pro Bowl, he’s been a pillar of the Colts’ front five. We here at PFR wish Castonzo the best in retirement.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts’ Anthony Castonzo Done For Year

Colts left tackle Anthony Castonzo will miss the rest of the year due to an ankle injury, head coach Frank Reich announced. It’s a major blow to the offensive line as the team enters a make-or-break Week 17 tilt against the Jaguars. 

You feel sick for AC going down like he did on a Thursday practice,” quarterback Philip Rivers said (via ESPN.com’s Mike Wells). “Maybe it was a matter of time before something happened. He’s had a heck of a year, a big part of what we do offensively, run game and pass protection. He’ll be missed.”

Castonzo is set for surgery, taking their long-tenured starter out of the lineup. When healthy, the Colts’ offensive line has been their greatest strength, thanks in large part to Castonzo. He’s anchored the blindside since his rookie year in 2011, showing consistency and durability for much of his pro career. Though Castonzo has never made the Pro Bowl, he’s started in all 144 of his games with quality performances.

In 2019, the Boston College product graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 7 ranked tackle in the league. And, his 81.3 overall score was even stronger than his 2017 and 2018 showings. He still has plenty of football left in the tank, though he’s got just one non-guaranteed year left on his deal, which carries a $16MM cap hit.

Right tackle Chaz Green, who has struggled on the left side in the past, could be tasked with snaps on the blindside.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Dolphins, Tagovailoa, Colts, Castonzo, Broncos, Calabrese

Ryan Fitzpatrick helped the Dolphins improve to 7-4 with a win over the Jets on Sunday, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll get his starting gig back anytime soon. Speaking after the game, head coach Brian Flores confirmed rookie Tua Tagovailoa would remain the team’s starter when healthy. “Yeah, if he’s healthy, he’s the guy. I don’t know how many different ways we have to continue to say that. You keep asking, I’ll keep answering the same way,” Flores said, via Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (Twitter link).

Clearly he didn’t leave much wiggle room. It’s not like Fitzpatrick lit the world on fire against New York, but he did have two touchdowns and no turnovers. The offense has undeniably moved better with Fitzpatrick under center than Tagovailoa, but obviously Tua is the future. Flores felt comfortable benching Tagovailoa during their Week 11 loss to the Broncos, but clearly doesn’t want to make a full-on change. That being said with Tagovailoa potentially looking at a multi-week absence due to his thumb injury, Fitzmagic might not be ending too soon. If Fitzpatrick plays the Dolphins into the playoffs, it’ll be very interesting to see whether Flores can avoid changing his tune.

Here’s more from around the AFC as we wrap up Week 12:

  • Colts left tackle Anthony Castonzo went down with a knee injury, and Philip Rivers started coming under immediate pressure the moment backup Le’Raven Clark entered the game. While Castonzo was quickly ruled out with the knee injury, fortunately it looks like he avoided major injury, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). Rapsheet writes that it sounds like an MCL sprain for the long-time Colt. Head coach Frank Reich said after the game a worst-case scenario had been avoided. It sounds like Castonzo won’t be out too long, but any missed time would be a brutal blow for this offense. Indy will need him as they make their playoff push.
  • The Broncos were in an unprecedented situation Sunday as all of their quarterbacks were ruled out due to COVID-19 issues. That led to practice squad receiver Kendall Hinton, who played some quarterback in college, getting the start under center. But before Denver turned to Hinton they initially wanted to make offensive quality control coach Rob Calabrese their starting quarterback against the Saints, sources told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. Calabrese has been with the team the past two years and Denver felt he knew the system better than anyone else. Schefter notes the league rejected the request out of principle against coaches being activated to keep teams from stashing potential players on the coaching staff. Calabrese played some quarterback at UCF, and ended his college career in 2012. Calabrese apparently ran the offense during practice on Sunday. It’s too bad Roger Goodell didn’t allow it, as that would’ve been even more bonkers and fun than the Hinton situation.

Contract Details: Castonzo, Kirksey, Cousins, Jarwin

Colts Re-Sign LT Anthony Castonzo

The Colts and left tackle Anthony Castonzo have agreed to terms on a new contract, the team announced. Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network reports that it’s a two-year, $33MM deal (Twitter link).

Indianapolis’ offensive line is perhaps the team’s biggest strength, thanks in no small part to Castonzo, who has anchored the blindside for Colts signal-callers since his rookie year in 2011. As ESPN’s Field Yates observes (via Twitter), Indy was the only team to start the same five offensive linemen in every game in 2019, and the current unit will remain intact for the third consecutive year in 2020.

Though Castonzo has never made the Pro Bowl, he’s started in all 132 of his games with consistently strong play. Last year, the Boston College product graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 7 ranked tackle in the entire NFL. His 81.3 overall score was even stronger than his 2017 and 2018 showings, proving that he still has plenty of football left in the tank.

His previous four-year, $43.8MM deal expired at the end of the 2019 season, and he was reportedly considering retirement earlier this year. However, he recently announced that he would continue his playing career, and he made it clear that he would not consider signing with a club other than the Colts.

Though that statement didn’t do much to help his leverage, it turns out he didn’t need it. The $16.5MM AAV he will see under his new contract puts him at the top of the left tackle market.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts’ Anthony Castonzo To Continue Playing

Anthony Castonzo isn’t going anywhere. The left tackle has been mulling retirement, but GM Chris Ballard told reporters on Tuesday that he’ll return in 2020 (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Field Yates). 

Now, the two sides will have to has out a new contract. Ballard says they’re discussing a new deal for the pending free agent in order to keep one of the league’s best offensive lines in tact.

Castonzo is coming off of a four-year, $43.8MM deal. But, even has he mulled retirement, he was not considering the possibility of playing for another team. For the 31-year-old (32 in May), it was the Colts or nothin’. He’s going with the former, and a lucrative new contract should be just around the corner.

The 2011 first-round pick has never made the Pro Bowl, but he’s started in all 132 of his games with consistently strong play. Last year, the Boston College product graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 7 ranked tackle in the entire NFL. His 81.3 overall score was even stronger than his 2017 and 2018 showings, proving that he still has plenty of football left in the tank.

With Castonzo (likely) in the fold, the Colts can apply their ample cap room towards other areas on their to-do list. That list, of course, starts with figuring out their quarterback situation.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jim Irsay On Luck, QBs, Castonzo, RBs

After Andrew Luck‘s retirement created the most uncertainty the Colts have faced at the quarterback position since Peyton Manning‘s career-threatening injury in 2011, they now project to be one of the key players in this offseason’s complex quarterback derby.

Presenting a quarterback market that features Tom Brady, Philip Rivers and Teddy Bridgewater as free agents — along with nominal UFAs Drew Brees and Dak Prescott — to go with Cam Newton and Andy Dalton as likely trade chips, 2020 brings unusual uncertainty at the NFL’s glamour position.

Colts owner Jim Irsay addressed several topics Sunday but focused on the quarterback position, where the team’s current starter — Jacoby Brissett — is not a lock to stay in that role.

I won’t talk about specific players; I would just say all options are open,” Irsay said, via Mike Chappell of Fox 59. “We have challenged each other to keep the ancient enemy of rationalization out of the room. The quarterback position, the three of us (Irsay, GM Chris Ballard and HC Frank Reich) will make it. We have to. It’s too big of a decision. All options are on the table. I’ve never quite seen a year when this was so unusual if you will. It’s exciting. I look at it as a challenge.”

The Colts, who hold this year’s No. 13 overall selection, have also been linked to making a first-round quarterback pick. While calling Indianapolis’ Brissett-Brian Hoyer depth chart “better than probably half the league,” Irsay will keep the draft avenue open. Although, the Colts are extremely unlikely to be in position to draft one of this year’s top three quarterback prospects at No. 13.

We’ll keep evaluating that position. I know we’ll find the right answer and Jacoby can have a much higher ceiling that he has now. That’s a possibility,” Irsay said. “We could draft someone. That’s a possibility. Doesn’t have to be the first round. There’s a lot of good players out there.

“I know we were going to take Russell Wilson the year (2012) we took Andrew in the fourth round, but he was gone in the third. We would have taken him, but that’s a long story.”

As for who will be Brissett or his replacement’s blindside protector, Irsay is confident Anthony Castonzo will be back. The nine-year veteran is considering retirement. Ballard believes the former first-round pick has several years left in the tank.

“I haven’t talked to Anthony personally, but he’s a Pro Bowl left tackle and we want him to come back,” Irsay said. “I think there’s a strong likelihood that he will, but I think Chris will have more on that in the coming weeks.”

Irsay added that the Colts have not discussed an extension for Marlon Mack. While indicating the Colts like Mack and want him to stay beyond his 2020 contract year, the longtime owner mentioned how much the organization likes 2018 draftees Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines.

Lastly, Irsay did get around to Luck. The owner said both Ballard and Reich still have dinner with the retired passer and that he has not given up on the prospect of the former No. 1 overall pick returning to the Colts at some point.

I try to make the argument (with him) also, ‘What about the $700MM (seems high) you’re leaving on the table?‘” Irsay said, after noting he respects Luck’s decision to retire. “I think we’ll have an outstanding decade, and I think Andrew will have an outstanding life. Will those things meet? It’s very possible, but it’s also not possible. … We have to go on with the assumption that he’s not going to be back. If he comes back, that’s easy.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: AB, Castonzo, Cowboys, Browns

Antonio Brown will soon be battling the Raiders off the field. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler tweets that the wideout’s grievance against the organization will be heard by an arbitrator in May. Brown filed a grievance over lost wages, including more than $30MM in guaranteed money.

Meanwhile, his grievance against the Patriots has yet to be scheduled, according to Fowler. Brown would be looking to recoup some of his $9MM signing bonus.

Let’s check out some more notes from around the NFL…

  • Colts offensive lineman Anthony Castonzo is set to hit free agency, and GM Chris Ballard is confident that the 31-year-old can still contribute for several years. The executive recently said during a radio appearance that the left tackle has three or four years left in the tank (via Albert Breer of SI.com).
  • Keith O’Quinn won’t continue as the Cowboys special teams coach, but he’ll stick around with the organization. The veteran coach has accepted the role of director of advance scouting (via Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com). O’Quinn has been with the Cowboys for 13 years, including the past 10 on the coaching staff. He spent the 2018 and 2019 seasons as Cowboys’ ST coach, but he was replaced by John Fassel after Mike McCarthy was hired as head coach.
  • The Browns announced today that Jeremy Garrett has been hired as the assistant defensive line coach. He’ll work alongside DL coach Chris Kiffin, who was actually a graduate assistant at Ole Miss back when Garrett was a player. “I think we have both grown as coaches,” Garrett told Andrew Gribble of the team’s website. “I bet night and day he has grown from when he was a GA and coached me, and I have grown from when I was a player and starting off my coaching career. So I think we are both at a point that we have grown a ton and we are looking forward to continuing that growth together.”

Colts LT Anthony Castonzo Considering Retirement

The Colts had to deal with one shocking retirement before the 2019 season got underway, and they may soon be dealing with another one. Today, left tackle Anthony Castonzo told reporters, including Stephen Holder of The Athletic, that he is taking stock of his career and that he may elect to retire (Twitter link).

Castonzo is eligible for unrestricted free agency in March, having just finished the final year of a four-year, $43.8MM contract. However, if he does choose to continue playing, he does not appear to be interested in testing the open market. Per Holder (via Twitter), Castonzo said he will either retire or re-sign with the Colts. The 2011 first-rounder also told reporters that he was on his way to meet with GM Chris Ballard to discuss his future (Twitter link).

Castonzo has never made a Pro Bowl, but his departure would leave a massive hole on the Colts’ O-line. He has started all 132 games in which he has appeared in his pro career, and he has consistently performed at a high level.

Holder says that Castonzo will take some time to consider his options, but of course, the Colts need to know as soon as possible what he plans to do (Twitter link). Indianapolis will have a great deal of cap space to work with and a full slate of draft picks, so the team wouldn’t necessarily be sunk if Castonzo decides to hand up the cleats, but it would certainly be an unwelcome development.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Colts, Texans, Pryor, Bolts

Anthony Castonzo will make his Colts debut on Thursday night. He’s active against the Patriots. The eighth-year left tackle has been sidelined for most of the past few months because of a hamstring injury, one he’s twice aggravated. Frank Reich said he did not intend to use an IR spot on Castonzo, and the first-year Colts coach’s confidence in the edge blocker being ready to return soon turned out to be appropriate. Castonzo participated in three limited practices this week.

Here’s the latest from the AFC, going into tonight’s intra-AFC matchup.

  • Indianapolis won’t, however, have the services of its top tackler. Darius Leonard, the NFL’s runaway tackles leader four games into his rookie season, will be out. The Colts tweeted the linebacker is not expected to dress against the Patriots. Both are technically active but are not going to play. An ankle injury is restricting Leonard, who has 54 tackles (seven for loss) and four sacks. He joins T.Y. Hilton, Marlon Mack and Kenny Moore among Colts who aren’t playing in Foxborough.
  • Seantrel Henderson‘s Texans stay did not produce much work. The one-year, $4MM free agent addition suffered a season-ending broken ankle in Week 1 against the Pats. The tackle who recently underwent surgery will be a UFA again in March but wants to return to the Texans. “Of course, I would like to be back,” Henderson said, via the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson. “I love it here.” Julie’n Davenport replaced Henderson at right tackle but was benched. Kendall Lamm‘s now playing there.
  • The AFC’s Los Angeles team has seen its wide receivers receive as much publicity as the Rams’ have, but the Chargers contingent’s quite deep in its own right. Although, it will be thinner for a bit going forward. Travis Benjamin is expected to be out for at least two weeks, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Benjamin’s been battling a foot injury this season. The Bolts hope he can return either for their Week 7 Titans game or after their Week 8 bye. L.A. still has Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Tyrell Williams, however.
  • Terrelle Pryor only played two snaps against the Jaguars. He’s not happy with his current Jets role. “It’s kind of nerve-racking. I don’t like it,” Pryor said, via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, about his usage dissatisfaction. “It is what it is, though. You get frustrated, you know? You don’t go out there and make plays. I’ve shown when the ball comes to me, I make plays. I’m a big play waiting to happen.” Noting Jermaine Kearse surpassed Pryor in Gang Green’s wideout pecking order, Mehta adds Pryor suffered a groin injury during practice last week. Pryor’s experienced persistent injury trouble during his Jets and Redskins tenures. He did not live up to expectations in Washington and saw ankle problems recur in New York this offseason. Pryor, however, is averaging 19.8 yards per catch (eight grabs for 158 yards) but has only received one target the past two weeks.