NFL Nation: A.J. Edds

Tuesday is the deadline for teams to put tender offers on restricted free agents, guys who have played for three years and have expiring contracts.

There are three levels of tenders:
  • $2.879 million comes with a first-round draft pick attached as compensation
  • $2.023 million comes with a second-round draft pick attached as compensation
  • $1.323 million comes with an original-round draft pick attached as compensation

If another team negotiates an offer sheet with a restricted free agent, the original team can choose to match the offer or let the player go for the corresponding draft pick. Tender numbers count against the cap, so teams must have the room carved out and ready for a player to sign the offer.

Here’s a team-by-team look at RFAs and their status as we know it.

Houston

OT Andrew Gardner (status unknown)

Indianapolis

LB A.J. Edds (not tendered), G Seth Olsen (not tendered), CB Cassius Vaughn ($1.323 million), G Jeff Linkenbach ($1.323 million)

Jacksonville

DE George Selvie, FB Brock Bolen, C John Estes, WR Jordan Shipley, LB Kyle Bosworth, TE Zach Potter

Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union has reported none will be tendered.

Tennessee

C-G Fernando Velasco ($2.023 million per Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean).
Whether Ben Ijalana was going to factor in to the Indianapolis Colts' offensive line plan, we did not know.

Ijalana
We know now he’s not an option, out for the year with a torn left ACL, the same injury that ended his rookie season in 2011 after four games. Inside linebacker A.J. Edds is also finished for the season with a torn ACL.

The previous regime drafted Ijalana out of Villanova in the second round in 2011 after picking Anthony Castonzo in the first round. They looked to be long-term bookend tackles. One evaluator of personnel told me right after the Colts’ draft that he thought Ijalana would be a better NFL player than Castonzo, the team’s left tackle.

As Bill Polian and Jim Caldwell were ousted and Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano replaced them, the team aimed to move away from a fast, agile line to a bigger, more physical group.

Ijalana, listed at 6-foot-4 and 317 last season, came into the league as a tackle. Pagano told Indianapolis reporters Tuesday that Ijalana rehabbed not only the reconstructed knee but also came back from two hip surgeries. As he did, he apparently bulked up, as he’s listed as a 337-pound guard now.

It’s sad for any guy who’s fought back from a serious injury to land in the same place, knowing he will have to do it all over again.

Once he does, he’ll be left to wait and see whether he’ll fit in the offensive line plan in 2013 after missing all but four of 32 games in his first two years.
The Indianapolis Colts' defense made a strong showing against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday night without linebacker Gary Brackett and safety Melvin Bullitt.

Any further strong efforts will also have to come without the two starters, as the team put them both on injured-reserve Wednesday with their shoulder injuries.

One of the roster spots made room for quarterback Dan Orlovsky. The other was used for A.J. Edds, who was signed off the New England Patriots' practice squad. Edds played in the Patriots’ first two games before he was cut and signed to the practice squad.

The Colts are better equipped to deal with the loss of Brackett than Bullitt, even as Bullitt was not off to a good start.

Pat Angerer slid from the strong side to the middle with Brackett out since the opener, and Angerer made 20 tackles from the spot against Pittsburgh Sunday while Philip Wheeler stepped in as the third linebacker.

But David Caldwell, who replaced Bullitt in the starting lineup in Week 3 for his first NFL start, was not as good.

The Colts were depleted at the strong safety spot opposite free safety Antoine Bethea in the center of the defensive backfield last season when Bob Sanders and Bullitt were both lost to injuries. Ultimately they turned to Aaron Francisco, who wasn’t even on the opening day roster.

They released Sanders after the season, and he’s now in San Diego. They re-signed Bullitt, an unrestricted free agent, and now will turn to Caldwell or another player they didn’t draft, rookie Joe Lefeged.

Defensive depth has taken a serious hit just three weeks in. And with Peyton Manning, Brackett and Bullitt all out of action, they’ve got some big dollars out of the lineup.

UPDATE: Ironically, San Diego put Sanders (knee) on IR Wednesday as well.

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