Colts Waive Linebacker Gardner, Three Others
INDIANAPOLIS – Gilbert Gardner started 12 regular-season games for the Colts en route to the Super Bowl XLI championship.
Gardner, a third-round selection by the Colts in the 2004 NFL Draft, was one of four players waived by the team this week, the club announced Tuesday afternoon. The others were linebacker Mike Labinjo, linebacker Brandon Hoyte and defensive back Trevis Coley.
The Colts also signed veteran tight end Mike Seidman as a free agent, and also have added rookie tight end Matt Farbotko as a free agent.
Seidman (6-feet-4, 261 pounds), a four-year NFL veteran from UCLA, caught 19 passes over the last four seasons for 158 yards and two touchdowns while playing for the Carolina Panthers.
Farbotko (6-6, 245), a collegiate free agent, played at Harvard, starting five of 18 career games and catching 21 passes for 289 yards and two touchdowns.
Gardner, who started 12 of the Colts’ first 13 games last season, started 15 of 37 games in three seasons, including starts in the last three games of the 2005 season. He made 97 tackles in three seasons, 50 solos, and defensed three passes with one interception.
With Gardner’s release, the Colts have five veteran linebackers with NFL experience on the roster – outside/middle backer Rob Morris (eighth NFL season); middle backer Gary Brackett (fifth NFL season), middle/outside
backer Tyjuan Hagler (second NFL season), outside backer Freddy Keiaho (second NFL season) and outside backer Rocky Boiman (sixth NFL season).
Morris, who replaced Gardner at strong-side backer in mid-December last season, started throughout the playoffs, and Brackett started each of the past two seasons in the middle. Colts President Bill Polian and Head Coach Tony Dungy have each said Keiaho is expected to begin training camp as the starter at weakside backer.
Cato June, a starter the past three seasons on the weakside, signed as a free agent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the off-season.
In the recent NFL Draft, the Colts selected Clint Session from Pittsburgh in the fourth round. They also signed four linebackers in collegiate free agency – Brandon Archer of Kansas State, Ramon Guzman of Buffalo, KaMichael Hall of Georgia Tech and Victor Worsley of North Carolina.
Labinjo, a three-year NFL veteran, signed with the Colts as a free agent on March 8 of this year. He previously spent time on the active roster with Philadelphia in 2004 and 2005 and with Indianapolis in 2005. He spent last season on Miami’s practice squad.
Hoyte, who originally signed with the Colts as a collegiate free agent after the 2006 NFL Draft, was waived by the Colts just before the 2006 season. He then re-signed with Indianapolis in January.
Coley signed as a free agent with the Colts in January.