<
>

Report: Robert Mathis avoiding OTAs

Add defensive end Robert Mathis of the Indianapolis Colts to the list of AFC South players unhappy with their contracts.

Mike Chappell reports Mathis has not been a part of the Colts' first three OTA practices and it’s because he wants a raise. He’s not expected to be with the team for a fourth practice Wednesday.

From Chappell's report:

Mathis, 29, has two years remaining on a front-loaded $30 million contract he signed in 2006. He's due a base salary of $2.31 million this season and $2.4million in 2011.

I don’t know how the Colts will react here. They intend to make Peyton Manning the league's highest-paid player with a new contract before the season starts. Colts president Bill Polian has generally been fair with the team’s stars while filling in other spots with cheaper options to help offset the big salaries.

Mathis didn’t look like he was dropping off last season when he went to his second consecutive Pro Bowl. He’s got 21 sacks over the past two seasons and is a crucial piece to what the Colts do defensively.

Indianapolis drafted TCU’s Jerry Hughes in the first round. A speedy edge-rusher, he’s slated to be the third end behind Dwight Freeney and Mathis and an eventual successor to one.

Mathis’ deal doesn’t look so bad considering it was front loaded. I’d hope Mathis’ time away is brief and he returns while still looking to talk to the team, following the path we saw Andre Johnson take in Houston.

Titans running back Chris Johnson, Titans middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch and Jaguars cornerback Rashean Mathis are all staying away from workouts to voice their displeasure over their contract situations.