Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

18 Feb 2011

Colts Cut Bob Sanders

Also known as "cutting your losses." The guy's a great player, but he can't stay healthy. You can't pay a top salary to a guy who can't stay healthy. Sanders has played only nine games in the past three seasons.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 18 Feb 2011

26 comments, Last at 24 Feb 2011, 7:17am by GM88


by Zilla (not verified) :: Fri, 02/18/2011 - 12:41pm

"This is Rex Ryan calling, how the fuck are ya doing!"

by Danny Snyder (not verified) :: Fri, 02/18/2011 - 10:01pm

This is Rex Ryan calling, how are your FEET?

by Bobby Wommack (not verified) :: Fri, 02/18/2011 - 12:50pm

The most overrated defender of the past decade. I enjoyed hearing the media talk about how the Colts defense was suffering the past 3 years because Sanders wasn't there. You could bet on an announcing mentioning his name in almost every game.

by commissionerleaf :: Fri, 02/18/2011 - 1:05pm

That's not quite fair, comment 2. Bob Sanders was in fact probably overrated, but he was overrated for a reason. In one season, the season his team won the Super Bowl, he returned from injury and the defense markedly, visibly improved when he stepped on the field. It's anecdotal, but it's not nothing.

That said, I'm glad the Colts did what they did (as, if anything, a Colts guy), and wish they had done it sooner. Or better yet, tagged/traded him back when he had some value.

The Colts defense is falling apart and was never really that good in the first place. Eventually, Mathis and Freeney will stop being effective, at which point it's all over.

by Sophandros :: Mon, 02/21/2011 - 3:24pm

I love revisionist history.

Sports talk radio and sports message boards are the killing fields of intellectual discourse.

by nuk :: Fri, 02/18/2011 - 1:14pm

Good luck, Bob. I hope you can retire on your big piles of savings.

by Dave0 :: Fri, 02/18/2011 - 1:51pm

i really wish the chargers would do this with sproles already

by Sjt (not verified) :: Fri, 02/18/2011 - 4:03pm

Sproles can't be cut, because he's not under contract. He's been tagged the last 2 years, and is currently a free agent.

by Umm.. (not verified) :: Fri, 02/18/2011 - 2:19pm

Meh. He tackled by lowering his head and blind-flinging himself at runners at a great velocity. Meh.

by Bobman :: Fri, 02/18/2011 - 4:54pm

Not true, or if true, at least he did not lead/hit with his helmet.

Neck/head injuries were the LEAST of his problems and I don't recall if he ever ended someone's game, much less a season. He hit hard, for sure, generally at the lower thighs/knees, and not always wrapping up. But his speed and impact (f = ma) generally got the guys down. And for somebody generally thought of as a thuggish 4th LB in the box,and who was listed as 5-9, he made a lot of key INTs.

The severance will help the Colts a lot on field, but almost all the D guys spoke about him as an inspirational leader of the D (at least when he played). They all clearly fed off his energy.

I wish he had played and practiced a little more under control, but then he probably would not have been Bob. (Who else is known for getting practice days off so he won't hurt himself? This went back to college. He was like a hammer made of plastic. Damn, it hurts when you're hit, but then it shatters and it's gone.) Speed kills. Sometimes, your own speed can kill you, too.

by nuk :: Fri, 02/18/2011 - 6:20pm

Physics quibble: momentum = mv is more relevant.

by Anonymous roiiojadfiojij' (not verified) :: Sat, 02/19/2011 - 1:17am

Only on Football Outsiders...

by Karl Cuba :: Sun, 02/20/2011 - 8:15am

Wouldn't mv=Fs be more pertinent to Bob Sanders tendency to knock the crap out of himself?

by tuluse :: Sun, 02/20/2011 - 8:22am

That and Newton's third law of motion.

by Theo :: Fri, 02/18/2011 - 2:51pm

Can't play football if you are made of glass.
I find it remarkable though that he could injure so many parts.

by Danny Snyderstein (not verified) :: Fri, 02/18/2011 - 10:04pm

2 words: Kelvin Bryant (old school)

by pcs :: Fri, 02/18/2011 - 4:35pm

Bob Sanders has been cut. The medical staff estimates the cut will take 10 months to heal, but the Colts hope to have him on the field for the playoffs.

by Bobman :: Fri, 02/18/2011 - 4:55pm

LOL. Just think how much more time the med staff has to spend on the other guys now!

by Dean :: Fri, 02/18/2011 - 5:00pm

Can't make the club in the tub.

Umm... actually has an interesting point. It's a distinct possibility that Bob Sanders would have replaced Harrison as the poster boy for illegal hits if he'd been healthy enough to stay on the field this year.

by Ajit (not verified) :: Fri, 02/18/2011 - 5:38pm

He was overrated? why? As a player when he was on the field he was far from overrated. He took the colts defense which could be generously described as mediocre to respectable. he was probably their only elite player outside of mathis and freeney on the defense.

With that said, it sucks that he couldn't stay healthy. I also don't buy the whole his style is conducive to injury thing...polomalu, rodney harrison, james harrison and slew of other such players have similar styles and they don't routinely miss large chunks of the season.

Its just a sad turn for bob.

by Dean :: Fri, 02/18/2011 - 5:57pm

Most of those guys are significantly bigger than Sanders.

by tuluse :: Fri, 02/18/2011 - 8:24pm

Mike Brown would probably be a good comparison.

by GM88 (not verified) :: Thu, 02/24/2011 - 7:17am

2 forced fumbles in 46 starts. Legendary.

by JonFrum :: Fri, 02/18/2011 - 11:30pm

A paper cut would put this guy off the field for six weeks.

by dmb :: Sat, 02/19/2011 - 10:50am

I didn't think the issue was that minor injuries keep him out for an inordinate amount of time; it's that he's overly prone to significant injuries. Belittling his toughness makes no sense. (Unless, of course, you believe you would have been capable of spending the past 4 months playing football with a torn triceps tendon.)

by Theo :: Mon, 02/21/2011 - 11:27am

he tore his bicep, not his triceps tendon.