Simon becomes unrestricted free agent after release from Colts

Ending a relationship that owner Jim Irsay earlier in the week termed a "bad mistake," the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday afternoon terminated the contract of defensive tackle Corey Simon, who did not play a snap for the team in its Super Bowl XLI season in 2006.

Simon, 30, immediately becomes an unrestricted free agent and able to sign with another team in the league. The seven-year veteran, who reportedly failed a physical exam earlier this week, has indicated that he would like to resume his career.

Signed by the Colts in the summer of 2005, after the Philadelphia Eagles rescinded the franchise tag they had put on him earlier that spring, making him a free agent, Simon played 13 games for Indianapolis before suffering a knee injury. He missed much of the offseason program in the spring of 2006, and then was placed on the non-football injury list with what Colts' officials described as polyarthritis, and didn't play at all in 2006.

The Colts, who signed Simon to a five-year, $30 million contract, ended up paying him more than $14 million in bonuses and salaries. The club attempted to recover an $8 million option bonus paid to Simon in March of 2006, but were unable to recoup the money because of a ruling in a case involving former Denver Broncos first-round wide receiver Ashley Lelie.

Clearly, the Colts got very little return for a pricey investment. It is not known if Simon and the team arrived at some sort of settlement on his contract before Saturday's release. Irsay had hinted that an arrangement was being discussed.

The health problems of Simon last year also forced Indianapolis to make another move in 2006, trading a second-round choice in the 2007 draft to Tampa Bay for defensive tackle Anthony McFarland.

Given his recent illness, his injury history in general, and concerns about his conditioning, it will be interesting to see if any other teams pursue Simon now as a free agent. The defensive tackle position is difficult to fill and, at age 30, Simon, if he can convince teams that he is healthy, could be able to help someone's front four.

Although Simon does not offer the kind of inside pass-rush pressure he did early in his career, he is still a wide-body and capable of playing the run well.

A former Florida State standout, Simon was the Eagles' first-round selection in the 2000 draft, the sixth player chosen overall that year. In 91 games, he has recorded 245 tackles, 32 sacks, 14 passes defensed, nine forced fumbles and three recoveries. His resume includes one Pro Bowl appearance.

Senior writer Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com