The Indianapolis Colts released Pro Bowl cornerback Vontae Davis after he elected to have season-ending surgery.
The news was announced on Thursday after an awkward dance between the two sides.
According to the Indianapolis Star, Colts coach Chuck Pagano stated that he benched Davis last week because of poor play. Pagano for the record stated that the downgrade in playing time was not injury-related.
Davis stated that his sliding performance was due to the lingering injury and that this issue is really about respect or lack thereof.
“I’ve been here six years,” Davis said. “We’ve had similar situations where I played hurt. These things happen. And I never got confronted and (no one) said, ‘Your play has slipped.’ Nothing. I was playing at a level that was acceptable.
“But now, my play slips and this? They should have come to me way earlier and said, ‘Vontae, you’re not yourself. You’re not playing well.’ I told the trainers my groin was not responding.”
“It should be more about the respect. I’m a professional,” Davis said. “I’ve been in (the league) long enough. When I look at the situation, I feel like there was no respect. Knowing Chuck, I figured it would come from him. It really bothered me.”
“I just figured it would be handled differently just knowing our (relationship). That’s the frustrating part. I felt like I was demoted for my (health). That’s the thing. If I get demoted and it’s because I can’t play, I would just say, ‘I (freaking) suck.”
While this was taking place, Davis was getting second opinions on his injury. Ultimately he made the decision to do what was best for his career.
Davis has by far been the strongest defender on a Colts team that has taken a two-year swan dive into the asphalt.
A good bit of this could be based upon the fact that Davis will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.
The Colts won’t be contending for anything in 2017. It makes sense to remove a conflict from within the organization that would not be returning next year.
BUT, looking at this and other situations such as the Andrew Luck fiasco, one has to state that this once well-run franchise needs to get it together.
The Colts have turned mishandling injured stars into an art form. So much so, that it’s going to make them a very undesirable option for top-shelf players in the free agent marketplace.
It will also certainly hurt their retention rate with the few productive players that are currently on their roster.
To get right, the next domino to fall may be Pagano himself.