While awaiting a decision from head coach Tony Dungy on his future, the Indianapolis Colts could be losing another franchise legend.
Unless wide receiver Marvin Harrison is willing to significantly restructure his contract, it’s possible he has played his last game for the Colts.
Next season, Harrison is scheduled to carry a $13.4 million salary-cap number for a Colts team that’s already $2.5 million over the 2009 salary cap. In a year when it will be more difficult than ever to restructure contracts because none of the money can be pushed into 2010, when there’s no salary cap, Indianapolis and other teams will struggle to find salary-cap room.
Yet the 36-year-old Harrison, an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, could almost singlehandedly provide it for the Colts. If Indianapolis were to release Harrison after this season, his $13.4 million salary-cap number would come off the books, and he would save the team $7 million against the cap. He still would count $6.4 million in dead money, but more importantly, there would be a $7 million savings.
And it’s not like the Colts haven’t been grooming receivers for Harrison’s eventual departure. Two years ago, Indianapolis invested a first-round draft pick in wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez. The team also is pleased with the progress that young receivers Roy Hall and Pierre Garcon have made.
While there’s a chance that Dungy will not be in Indianapolis next season, there’s a greater chance Harrison won’t be there.