Full transcript of conference call after five Colts players were cut

Colts General Manager held a conference call following the release of five additional Colts players Friday.


Colts General Manager held a conference call following the release of five additional Colts players Friday.

The following is a transcript of that call.

On how much the team saved on the salary cap with these moves:
“I am not going to get into specifics numbers wise. I just released some really great players. I prefer to speak about players that we released today, and again I am not going to give out specific numbers, but we are definitely in a tough situation.”

On why he released these five players:
“Again, all of these players, we would love to have them here. It was not easy. It was agonizing. You know the situation that we are in roster-wise, what we are trying to do. They were cap casualties. That is the way the thing is set up. There is no easy way to do it, but it’s hard. It involves the cap and the money involved, you just can’t do certain things and the cap doesn’t allow you to. They are cap casualties in the truest since of the word.”

On what he can say to the fans:
“It is a really tough deal. It was tough on all of us involved, especially Mr. Irsay. Fans hopefully understand that moving forward, into eventually achieving success again, we really need to make tough decisions and business decisions because (we) are forced to do these things in this game. It is a business sometimes, the players ultimately understand that and it is what had to be done for the moving forward of the franchise.”

On the report that the Colts are interested in trading Dwight Freeney:
“I am not going to speak on rumors. Dwight is a member of our club. I am here to talk about the players we released today.”

On if there will be more players released:
“As of right now, this is where we are at. These are the players today that we let go. That is where our focus is at. Every day is a different day here. You know we have been doing things piece mailed one day at a time, and as of right now that is where we are at with the cuts.”

On if these moves create a lot of cap space for the 2013 season:
“It helps. I mean it helps. You have to make these decisions obviously to help your future. This is what this is all about, it is about the future. It is about the future of the franchise. If you do all of these things with the fans in mind and with all of our future players and our existing players. Yes it is going to help, but we are not out of the woods by any means.”

On if these cap savings will allow the Colts to spend in free agency this offseason:
“We are going to try and do our best. Obviously you would love to just get out the shopping cart and go and pick, you know, all the players you would like. We are in a tough spot right now. We are going to do our best to find the best players we are capable of getting underneath the constraints we have right now fiscally.”

On this being a rebuilding process and how long it’s going to take:
“I wish I could (say). None of these things are easy. Everyday has been a day that we’re chipping away and trying to move forward. I can’t give a timeline on when we’ll all of the sudden arrive. It’s a daily process and we’re all busting our tails to do our best and do right by the city and by the franchise moving forward. We’re doing our best.”

On the possibility of re-signing released members of the Colts:
“We’re looking at our options, but I’m here to speak on the guys who are being released. These guys deserve that respect from the team and city for what they have done. These are some tremendous players who have meant so much to the franchise. It’s been a rough one.”

On how difficult it is for him to release players:
“I have not been here. I’m new here, but I’m also a football fan, someone who evaluates and (someone) who has been in the league for quite a while and has scouted all of these players.  As a football person, I tremendously respect them as football players. When I came here, learning about them as people, they are exceptional people. They all work really hard, have been great in the community and have been home raised here in Indianapolis as Colts. These guys are all Colts and they always will be Colts. So, it’s tough, but for Mr. Irsay and those who have been here with them and hoisted the trophy with them, I’m sure it was extra difficult. It was not easy, believe me. You are dealing with great players and people as well. It’s evident when you talk to them because they are class acts. All of them.”

On any of the players being asked to take reduced salaries and the possibility of welcoming them back if they clear free agency:
“We’ve looked at options and we’ve done everything we can. It is what it is. We have to make tough decisions and you know how it is in this business. It can get tough.”

On how much previous injuries played in the decision to release players:
“No, absolutely not. This was a cap situation like I said. Again, like I said, we would have loved to have all of these guys back. Anybody in the football world knows you just don’t discard good players. There are reasons involved and this reason was the cap casualty.”

On how successful the team can be next season with a new roster:
“They are going to learn to buy in. They are going to feel when they walk in here that we are working hard to make this place great once again. It’s going to be something that we’re all going to have to be on board together and work together daily to get to where we want to go. We’re all going to share the same vision. The people we brought in here will share the same vision. It’s up to coach Pagano, which I’m confident he’ll instill that vision with the players who are here now and the players that we’ll be bringing in the future.”




Look for this special section in your
Baltimore Sun newspaper on Dec. 29, 2013.
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