INDIANAPOLIS (May 8, 2007) -- Gilbert Gardner, a starting linebacker for most of last season, was released by the Indianapolis Colts.
The Colts also cut ties with linebackers Mike Labinjo and Brandon Hoyte and defensive back Trevis Coley and signed tight end Mike Seidman.
Gardner was drafted out of Purdue in the third round in 2004 and was expected to be a good fit in coach Tony Dungy's defensive scheme. Instead, two injury-prone years relegated Gardner primarily to special teams and backup duty. When David Thornton left after the 2005 season, the Colts plugged him into a starting job.
Gardner never quite fit into that role, either. With the Colts' run defense ranked last in the NFL, Dungy benched Gardner in mid-December and he was inactive for all three playoff games and the Super Bowl.
Still, the Colts saw enough promise in Gardner to offer the restricted free agent a one-year tender worth $850,000, which he signed. But he never made it to training camp.
Gardner finished his Colts career with 97 career tackles, including 66 last year.