Around 9:15 Thursday night, the Colts announced they had waived reserve safety Joe Lefeged, but the team initially didn’t announce a signing or mention any non-football reason for Lefeged’s release (though it would sort itself out in the morning).
From the team’s announcement on Lefeged:
The Indianapolis Colts today waived safety Joe Lefeged.
Lefeged appeared in 36 games (five starts) with the Colts and totaled 56 tackles (31 solo), five passes defensed, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. He also recorded 20 special teams stops. Lefeged was originally signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent on July 29, 2011.
The lack of a reason for the release likely meant it wasn’t terribly newsworthy, but that didn’t stop the speculation as to whether Lefeged was in more trouble or who might be taking his spot.
The answer came this morning when the team signed safety Larry Asante, who many believed could earn a roster spot after a strong preseason. It appears Asante has earned his spot, just a bit later than fans expected.
From the Colts release on Asante:
Asante, 6-0, 210 pounds, rejoins the Colts after being waived by the team following the preseason finale at Cincinnati. In the preseason, he ranked second on the team with 16 tackles (10 solo) while also contributing with one interception returned for a touchdown, one fumble recovery and 1.0 sack. For his regular-season career, he has totaled 12 tackles (nine solo), one interception and one forced fumble in 12 games played.
The Cleveland Browns drafted Asante in the 5th round in 2010, where he spent his first season on their practice squad, followed by a stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he began on the practice squad and finished the season by picking off Saints QB Drew Brees.
Asante was a talented but undisciplined project player when the Browns picked him, but his preseason with the Colts gives reason to believe the young safety may be ready for the NFL at last. Here’s what ESPN had to say about him on draft day in 2010:
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Assante showed plenty of potential. ST are brutal. No need to speculate this was anything but a football decision. Hopefully, Lefeged gets healthy and lands on another team. He is a quality backup.
@7IHd Nope. Just a whole lot of "we do what's best for the team," and that sort of thing. Yesterday, Pagano said this:
"As you know, we made a roster move. As you know, I talk all the time about the roster being fluid and again, every decision we make is based on one thing and one thing only, and that’s what’s best for the team. You guys know what that move is and brought Larry Asante in. He’ll be up for the game and will play.”
And when the IndyStar guys asked him specifically about it, he gave them this: “Again, it’s just what gives us the best chance to win and what’s best for the team.”
So, I guess we can treat it like a football decision and wonder if Lefeged wasn't meshing well with the culture or his teammates. It could just mean that they decided Asante was going to be better but made the decision at a strange time.
@thellamajockey I think our ST have been good this year. They were a big part of that win in SF. But I definitely agree that Asante has some real potential as a backup. Maybe just two equal players, and they went with the healthiest one.