INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - In a Tuesday afternoon press conference, Colts owner Jim Irsayannounced the team will release Marvin Harrison. The wide receiverdid not attend the announcement.
Irsay said he had a great conversation with Harrison onTuesday wherein they reflected on the veteran wide receiver's13-year career with the team. But they were evidently not able toreach any sort of contract agreement.
"We'll look forward to the day when he is inducted into the Hallof Fame and into the Ring of Honor in our stadium," saidIrsay.
Colts President Bill Polian echoed Irsay's thoughts thatHarrison's departure was bittersweet.
"It's a sad day because you never want to see a player ofMarvin's stature leave," said Polian.
Harrison has been one of the Colts' most identifiable playerssince their move to Indianapolis. He ranks No. 2 in the NFL incareer receptions (1,102) and holds all of the franchise's majorcareer and season receiving records.
He is also 36 years old, coming off one of the least productiveseasons of his career - he missed all but five games in 2007.
Next year's cap is expected to be $123 million.
Since being drafted by the Colts in 1996, Harrison has been amodel of consistency.
He's made eight Pro Bowls and won a Super Bowl ring. His 14,550yards rank fourth on the NFL's career list and he's No. 5 with 128TD catches. Harrison and Peyton Manning also teamed to produce themost proficient passing tandem in league history.
But Manning has increasingly thrown more passes to Reggie Wayne,who has made the last three Pro Bowls, while Anthony Gonzalez,Indy's first-round draft pick in 2007, has made a push for moreplaying time.
Polian and coach Jim Caldwell had repeatedly said they do notbelieve Harrison's skills are deteriorating.
"What I saw is a guy who is as quick as he's been, with the samehands and he has the ability he's always had," Caldwell saidThursday.
Harrison isn't the only veteran the Colts could lose thisweek.
Three-time Pro Bowl center Jeff Saturday will become anunrestricted free agent Friday if the Colts cannot work out a dealbefore then.
Saturday has started 138 games in nine seasons and isresponsible for making blocking calls along the line.
Those two, along with Manning, are the longest-tenured playerson the Colts roster, and Polian would like to get deals done withboth even though it seems increasingly unlikely in Harrison'scase.
Saturday's agent, Ralph Cindrich said Sunday night, thatSaturday is preparing to test free agency although Polian has madean offer to the center.
"We've not made any decisions yet, we're still talking and we'vemade an offer," Polian said. "He's mulling that over, and we'll seewhere that goes."
The problem for Indianapolis is salary cap space.
On Thursday, the Colts signed cornerback Kelvin Hayden to a newfive-year, $43 million deal, the team's latest jackpot winner.Since 2004, Manning, Harrison, Wayne, Dwight Freeney, RobertMathis, Ryan Diem, Bob Sanders, Dallas Clark and Ryan Lilja haveall signed contracts worth at least $19 million.
Polian does not believe those deals have put Indy in the moneypinch; the new salary cap rules have.
Police officials on Thursday morning named the city’s latest homicide victim.
Funeral arrangements have been finalized for the Nineveh children and mother killed in a fire in November.
Employees at some Indianapolis fast food restaurants will take part in a 100-city strike Thursday morning.