September 18, 2015 Louisville, KY. (Analyzed Sports)
Anthony Castonzo to Stay With Colts After Signing 4-Year Extension
As NFL teams were breaking camp and getting ready for their respective season openers, several teams had some official team business that needed to be addressed before the start of the new season. The Indianapolis Colts took care of one piece of business when they successfully locked down starting left tackle Anthony Castonzo in a four-year deal worth $43.6 million.
Aside from putting a smile on the four-year veteran’s face, the Colts were able to send a clear message that they would do whatever it takes to protect Quarterback Andrew Luck, the face and the backbone of the franchise. For Castonzo, it gives him one less thing to worry about so he can shift all of his focus to the upcoming season.
When asked how the contract negotiations went down, Castonzo replied. “Basically I just said, ‘Hey, it’s all up to you (agent Tom Condon). I’m focusing on playing football. I’ve got an important season ahead of me, so get it done as soon as you can get it done,” and he would further add “I knew I wanted to be here so I was hoping we could get something done.”
In Andrew Luck, the Colts have a leader with enough talent to make them Super Bowl contenders for years to come. With that kind of asset on the field, it doesn’t make sense to pinch pennies and put the franchise’s future at risk. To that end, team owner Jim Irsay stepped up to the plate and delivered on his promise to do whatever he could to bring a Super Bowl Championship to Indianapolis.
At 6-foot-7, 311-pound, Castonzo has a strong upper body and great footwork that make him the quintessential pass protector. That’s an important attribute for protecting the likes of an Andrew Luck who if he gets enough time, can deliver the ball anywhere on the field on a dime.
Castonzo was drafted in the 1st round with the 22nd pick of the 2011 NFL draft. He played his college ball at Boston College where he was named Second-team All-ACC in his freshman year. While the rest of his college career was solid, it was his pass blocking ability that caught the eye of Colts scouts who at the time were looking at upgrading the offensive line in front of QB Peyton Manning.
Over the past two seasons, the Colts offensive line has been in a bit of disarray. Head Coach Pagano was forced to use as many as 18 different combinations on the front line in an effort to protect Luck and stabilize a rushing attack that was going nowhere. As it turns out, Castonzo has been the only stabilizing force on the offensive line, having made 56 straight starts at the all-important left tackle position.
This particular signing was important to the Colts on several different levels. First, the team already knew it had several key free agents (Tight end Dwayne Allen, Tight end Coby Fleener, linebacker Jerrell Freeman and corner-back Greg Toler) to deal with at the end of the season. They felt Castonzo was the most important of the bunch and moved to get the deal done.
Perhaps a more pressing issue is the desire of Irsay to sign Luck to a long-term mega extension. Star quarterbacks get a warm fuzzy feeling when they know the team owner is making a significant investment in protecting them, which is exactly the message the Colts want to be sending to Luck at this point in time.
Finally, this is the year the Colts look like a legitimate Super Bowl contender. After signing star wide receiver T.Y. Hilton to a long-term deal in the off-season, the Colts’ key players can all focus on the task at hand, winning the NFC title and getting to the Super Bowl.
***This article was written by author and sports analyst Tony Samboras. As a writer Tony got his start by contributing to various sports blogs and websites. He now contributes his time and writing to promoting a sports betting system found at simplythebetsus.com
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