Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL Nation [Print without images]

Thursday, May 9, 2013
Colts' trade of A.Q. Shipley is fine by me

By Paul Kuharsky

It seems to me some Indianapolis Colts fans are reacting more strongly to the team dealing away center A.Q. Shipley than I believe is warranted.

Yes, Shipley was better in his five starts last season than Samson Satele was.

Satele got a three-year, $10.8 million deal from the Colts last year with $4 million guaranteed and a $3.2 million signing bonus. He’s due a $2.7 million base salary this year.

Ryan Grigson won NFL executive of the year for his rookie season as Colts GM. The Satele move was one that didn’t pan out.

Perhaps he’ll be far better in his second season. But Grigson used a fourth-round draft pick on USC’s Khaled Holmes, a center. If the Colts don’t look for Holmes to start right away, they surely expect him to start by 2014.

The Colts don’t need three centers, so dealing Shipley for a conditional pick -- we don’t know what it can be -- is completely reasonable. Being better than Satele last year wasn’t some giant achievement. I don’t mean that to demean Shipley -- I respect the work he did.

But if the Colts don’t view him as a long-term piece of the franchise, it’s smart to get something for a guy who may not have made it out of training camp.

Shipley was a seventh-round pick by the Steelers in 2009 and spent time on their practice squad before he moved to the Eagles in 2010 when he was also a practice squader.

He was out of the league in 2011 before the Colts picked him up in late January 2012.

Now he may factor in the Ravens' plans while Indianapolis looks to pave a path for Holmes.