Colts sign Mathis to $36-million deal

Indianapolis Colts' defensive end Robert Mathis (98) sacks Carolina Panthers' quarterback Cam...

Indianapolis Colts' defensive end Robert Mathis (98) sacks Carolina Panthers' quarterback Cam Newton in Indianapolis November 27, 2011. (REUTERS/Brent Smith)

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Robert Mathis agreed to a long-term deal with the Indianapolis Colts, shortly after the team placed the franchise tag on the Pro-Bowl defensive end.

The Indianapolis Star reported the terms at four years and $36 million. It includes a $15 million signing bonus. Mathis will earn $17 million in the first year and $24 million over the first two.

“Still Bleedin BLUE!!!” Mathis posted on his Twitter account.

Indianapolis had to exercise the franchise tag on Mathis when the sides couldn’t agree on a deal by Monday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline. The one-year, $10.6 million tag was lifted as soon as details were finalized.

The Colts still must decide whether to pay longtime quarterback Peyton Manning a $28 million bonus by Thursday, triggering the final four years of the five-year, $90 million contract Manning signed in July. If the Colts decline and don’t work out a new contract by March 13, Manning would become an unrestricted free agent.

Manning, 35, missed the 2011 season after having neck surgery in September. Surgeons hoped that fusing two vertebrae would repair a damaged nerve that caused weakness in his throwing arm. Manning has been throwing since December.


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