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Saturday, February 25, 2012
What Garcon developments mean for Colts

By Paul Kuharsky

INDIANAPOLIS — Adam Schefter reported that Indianapolis Colts receiver Pierre Garcon, a free-agent-to-be, passed on a five-year contract offer from the team.

Pierre Garcon
The Colts would like to retain Pierre Garcon, a four-year pro who has played his entire career in Indianapolis.
Not knowing details of the money makes it difficult for us to offer a complete interpretation of what such a development means.

But the nugget of news still tells us a few important things:
Garcon will bring a receiving corps a jolt of speed, and virtually everybody seeking help at the position covets a guy who can stretch the field and impact the way defenses play.

He’s been a streaky player, and his good games and stretches have been very good. But he can put up duds, get mixed up with his quarterback and muff the sort of crucial pass that can change a game.

One thing that can’t be used as a strike against him is that he’s a product of Peyton Manning, since he led the Colts with six touchdown catches as he caught 70 passes for 947 yards with Kerry Collins, Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky at quarterback.

I’d rate him as a risk with a big money contract, but also think he’s worth a shot as a No. 2 on the right team with the right offense, the right quarterback and the right No. 1.

The Colts need him and could beef up their offer and continue to try to get a deal done before free agency opens March 13. Also, defensive end Robert Mathis is also a franchise-tag candidate. That would cost about $10.05 million. If he hits the market, he’s going to field calls from a ton of teams.

Receiver Reggie Wayne is also heading for free agency. Indianapolis can keep one with a franchise tag of around $9.4 million. Lose both and they’re down to Austin Collie — a very good player who shouldn’t be asked to be a team’s top guy — and Blair White as their wideouts under contract.

Some analysts will be tempted to rate Garcon as having more upside than the aging Wayne as the Colts prepare to draft Andrew Luck. But I’ve been chatting with colleagues about it. That deep threat is nice, but isn’t a guy who will reliably convert third-and-7 more valuable for a young quarterback?