Colts Release Veteran Pass Rusher Shaun Phillips


The Indianapolis Colts have announced that they have released backup pass rushing outside linebacker Shaun Phillips from their roster today. The move will free up $2.65M in cap space, as none of his contract was guaranteed for this upcoming season.

Jan 18, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass against Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Shaun Phillips (55) in the second half in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The 11-year veteran was claimed off waivers from the Tennessee Titans to bolster a pass rush that was lacking after the team lost All-Pro Robert Mathis to a season-ending torn achilles. However, the former Purdue Boilermaker never really made much of a significant impact, as he appeared in 5 games for the Colts recording just 5 tackles and 0 sacks.

It marks the second wave of Colts releases this offseason, as the team previously cut LaRon Landry, Andrew Jackson, and Xavier Nixon earlier last week.

Phillips really didn’t factor into the Colts long-term plans, as he wasn’t all that effective in a limited pass rushing role last season and doesn’t play special teams as a backup outside linebacker lower on the depth chart. He was more of a stopgap acquisition to help amp up the team’s pass rush but as noted, never made much of a meaningful impact.

Still, it’s been a very good NFL career for the 33 year old Phillips if Indianapolis is in fact his last stop, as it’s questionable just how much he las left in the tank. He’s most known for his 9 highly productive seasons with the San Diego Chargers, but he’s just one year removed from a 10 sack season with the Denver Broncos. He currently ranks 58th on the NFL’s all-time career sack list with 81.5 career sacks.

The Colts will gladly take his $2.65M in freed cap space and better use it toward upgrading the holes on their roster. The team could still use another pass rusher to pair with the returning Mathis and emerging young pass rusher Jonathan Newsome. Unfortunately for Phillips, it just won’t be him anymore for the Colts.

Jan 11, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) is pursued by Indianapolis Colts linebacker Shaun Phillips (55) in the 2014 AFC Divisional playoff football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Colts defeated the Broncos 24-13. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports