Colts release DE Kendall Langford after injury-plagued 2016 season
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Kendall Langford’s career with the Indianapolis Colts started with a hefty contract and a solid first season, but has ended with his departure.
The team announced Wednesday it released the veteran defensive end with a failed-physical designation. It ends a brief association that began when Langford signed a four-year, $17.2 million free-agent contract during the 2015 offseason.
“Kendall emerged as a team leader shortly after we signed him in 2015,’’ coach Chuck Pagano said in a team release. “He gave everything he had on and off the field and we are grateful for his contributions.’’
The release of Langford, who opened training camp on the physically unable to perform list, is a hit to a revamped Colts’ defense. He was expected to form a solid up-front nucleus with free-agent acquisitions Johnathan Hankins and Al Woods and returnees Henry Anderson, Hassan Ridgeway, T.Y. McGill and David Parry.
The Colts save $3.75 million against the NFL’s salary cap by parting ways with Langford. He counts $500,000 in dead money.
Langford was one of the defense’s top performers in 2015, but an injury to his right knee during last summer’s training camp proved to be the beginning of the end.
He underwent surgery in August 2016 to address a “chondral defect’’ with his right knee.
Langford was expected to miss up to four weeks, but returned in time for the season opener against Detroit. He started the first seven games, which extended his streak of consecutive appearances to 135 games, the league’s longest active streak among defensive linemen.
During the offseason, Langford insisted his rehab was going well and expressed optimism about returning to the defense.
“I’m progressing,’’ he said in April. “One guarantee I can say is that I’ll be ready come season, training camp, all those good things…I’m moving in the right direction.’’
Langford confirmed his departure in a tweet. He also took the chance to thank the Colts organization, the Irsay family and the fans.