By Eric Schmidt

Several reports this weekend have suggested that the Indianapolis Colts have had “tepid” discussions with DE Robert Mathis, it is now being reported that the Colts organization will place the franchise tag on Mathis. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports on Twitter that the team is trying to get a long-term deal done with Mathis, but if a deal cannot get done, the club will place the franchise tag on Mathis before the 4pm EST deadline this afternoon.

Today begins a huge week for the Indianapolis Colts as the franchise has to make a decision on QB Peyton Manning by Thursday, March 8th.

Mathis, a speedy but undersized defensive end, recorded 43 tackles this season, yet 9.5 sacks. In his 9-year career, Mathis has recorded 83.5 sacks. Indianapolis is going to employ a 3-4 defensive hybrid scheme in 2012 and the team would like to retain his services. Mathis would garner some serious interest on the free agent market, with pass rushers being a premium on the open market.

With the Detroit Lions placing the franchise tag on Cliff Avril earlier today and if the Indianapolis Colts place the franchise tag on Robert Mathis, the price tag on potential free agent Houston Texans DE Mario Williams will skyrocket.






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