Colts release tight end Marcus Pollard

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  1. Arch Stanton

    Arch Stanton it was the grave marked unknown right beside

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    Associated Press

    INDIANAPOLIS - The Indianapolis Colts released veteran tight end Marcus Pollard on Wednesday, saving the team an immediate $2.65 million against the NFL salary cap.

    Colts President Bill Polian said the team hoped eventually to get Pollard back under a new contract and would welcome him next season if he does not sign with another team in the meantime.

    Pollard, the only team member to have played in both of the Colts' AFC Championship Game appearances in 1996 and 2004, said he had been expecting the move. Polian and coach Tony Dungy told him in person Wednesday morning, but paperwork for Pollard's release had not yet been completed late in the afternoon.

    "I've always dreaded this day because I didn't know how it would happen and how I would deal with it emotionally," he said. "But as far as how Bill and Tony handled it, I got cut, but I don't feel like I got cut, if that makes any sense."

    Pollard, who joined the Colts as an undrafted free agent in 1995, is one of the team's most productive tight ends of all time. He is second to Hall of Famer John Mackey with 263 receptions and ranks third all-time in two other categories, with 3,391 yards and 35 touchdowns in his 10 seasons.

    The Colts had already strengthened the tight end position the past two years by acquiring Dallas Clark, Ben Hartsock and Ben Utecht.

    "We'll replace him at tight end. I don't know that we'll replace Marcus Pollard - in the locker room, on the field, around the building or in the community, but he's only going someplace else for a brief time," Polian said in a statement posted on the Colts Web site.

    "He's going to finish as a Colt. He'll always be a Colt."

    Glenn Schwartzman, Pollard's agent, said he had tried unsuccessfully to negotiate a contract extension with the Colts. Pollard's salary counts for $4.85 million against the $85.5 million cap.

    Other Colts starters who became free agents Wednesday included guard Rick DeMulling, safety Idrees Bashir, cornerback Nick Harper and middle linebacker Rob Morris.

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