Colts: Denico Autry facing troubling lawsuit ahead of free agency

Colts DL Denico Autry (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Colts DL Denico Autry (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

The Indianapolis Colts patching up their quarterback predicament has really consumed most of the conversations surrounding the team in recent days, and understandably so. However, the honeymoon phase won’t last forever, as the front office will still have a legion of roster question marks to address in the coming months.

Seeing as though DeForest Buckner and Grover Stewart are the only two pass rushers with definitive futures, the defensive line figures to be a point of emphasis for the Colts. While there are some rotational pieces, like Tyquan Lewis and Kemoko Turay, that could assume a larger role, Indy might look to free agency for reinforcements while that duo continues its development.

After all, Justin Houston and Denico Autry are both set to hit the open market and there’s no guarantee that either player (let alone) both will return. When it comes to the latter, however, a run-in with the law could complicate his free agent experience entirely.

According to the Indianapolis Star, Autry is being sued over a January fire that resulted in more than $30,000 worth of damages to the garage of an apartment he was renting in Zionsville, Indiana. The lawsuit alleges that his smoking was the “direct and proximate” cause of the fire.

Colts defensive end Denico Autry faces a troubling lawsuit before he enters free agency.

This obviously isn’t a great look for Autry, who, according to the lawsuit, defied a month’s worth of complaints from neighboring tenants about his insistence on smoking at the apartment. Perhaps the strangest detail from this affair is that the fire occurred just one day before the Colts’ regular season finale against Jacksonville, in which the seven-year pro recorded a single tackle.

The lawsuit is seeking compensatory damages for the fire and accuses Autry of “breach of contract and negligence.” In another poor optic for the former undrafted talent, the report claims that he’s been ignoring the repeated attempts from Viewegh Properties to get in touch with him about covering the impairments.

Per the report, Colts officials and Autry’s agent both declined to comment or disclose the name of his attorney. On top of that, the court document claims that Autry doesn’t even currently have legal representation lined up to defend him in the case.

It sounds like it could all be sorted out if Autry makes himself approachable about covering the damages. Ducking phone calls and avoiding the problem isn’t going to resolve anything.

Perhaps there’s more here that meets the eye, but facing a massive offseason after enjoying one of the most productive campaigns of his career, we would seriously advise Autry to nip this issue in the bud before it potentially morphs into something worse.