Minus Harrison vs. Jags, are Colts previewing '09?

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
The Colts did not bring Marvin Harrison to Jacksonville with them after the receiver had an MRI on an injured hamstring this week.

Anthony Gonzalez will work as the second receiver opposite Reggie Wayne as Indianapolis looks to clinch a playoff berth and the No. 5 seed in the AFC with a win over the Jaguars.

Might we be looking at the team's starting receivers for 2009?

Harrison can certainly still be an effective pass catcher and a dangerous option. But he's lost a step and isn't going to run away from many people. The Colts need to be explosive and they need to be practical with their money.

Harrison is due a $9 million base salary in 2009, $10 million in 2010 and $11.4 million in 2011. He has $6 million in remaining bonus proration, so if the Colts cut him they'd save $3 million immediately -- the difference between the base and the proration -- and that's a key number because they are currently $2.8 million over the 2009 cap.

We have no idea what Harrison thinks about his future, as he rarely talks to reporters. We don't yet have a strong sense of what the team is thinking, either, though we do know that Tony Dungy isn't big on the concept of trying to bring back veterans at reduced prices because they don't always have the same fire.

Harrison's fate will be one of the Colts' biggest offseason story lines. They're hoping they'll be busy with a playoff run and won't have to have the conversations that resolve it for some time.