Colts Release Starters CB Antonio Cromartie, ILB Sio Moore; Promote OLB Trevor Bates
The Indianapolis Colts announced on Tuesday that the team has waived veteran cornerback Antonio Cromartie and inside linebacker Sio Moore, while promoting outside linebacker Trevor Bates from their practice squad–who was a 7th round pick of the team this year.
Following the significant ankle injury to Vontae Davis, Cromartie was signed just weeks before the season began as an emergency starter. The 32 year old started in all 4 of the team’s games, recording 14 total tackles.
While Cromartie was largely serviceable for the Colts starting in the team’s first 3 games, he struggled last weekend against the Jacksonville Jaguars covering Allen Robinson–committing 2 penalties in addition to being routinely burned, before being benched all together in the 2nd half.
The Colts will get nickelback Darius Butler to return soon, so Cromartie may have eventually become expendable regardless.
Meanwhile, the Colts initially had high hopes for Moore, whose play in training camp and preseason made expected starter Nate Irving a chopping block casualty. However, Moore now joins Irving in free agency after a string of poor performances.
The 26 year old recorded 30 tackles in 4 starts, but after recording 13 total tackles in his debut as a starter against the Lions with the Colts, his production has dwindled ever since. He began to miss more tackles in recent weeks, and the Colts could no longer wait for him to turn his performance around.
Otherwise, the team promoted rookie outside linebacker Trevor Bates, who also has some positional versatility at inside linebacker. Bates may be able to help as a situational pass rusher or even as additional inside linebacker depth. If nothing else, he should contribute immediately on special teams.
The Colts currently have an open spot on their 53-man active roster, which could be a precursor to eventually activating recently reinstated Art Jones from his 4-game suspension from the allowed one week exempt list.