Bill Polian the team's president has all but ended the club's often acrimonious relationship with place-kicker Mike Vanderjagt. Like James, Vanderjagt will become an unrestricted free agent Friday. Polian was asked Saturday during a news conference at the NFL Scouting Combine here if the Colts are in the market for a new kicker. "In our minds, we are looking," he said. "Mike will be free and he'll probably elect to go somewhere else. We figure it will be an area we have to fill.''
Repeated attempts to contact Vanderjagt have been unsuccessful.
Vanderjagt is the Colts' career leader in points (995) and successful field goals (217), and is the most accurate kicker in NFL history (87.5 percent). However, it isn't a shock that those numbers likely won't result in the team offering him another contract. He and Polian have verbally sparred in the past over the team's decision to carry a kickoff specialist, and his most recent field goal attempt left an indelible mark. After converting 23-of-25 field goals during the 2005 regular season, Vanderjagt missed badly on a 46-yarder in the closing seconds of a 21-18 playoff loss to Pittsburgh. A few days later, Vanderjagt made an appearance on CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman," during which he booted a 46-yard field goal on a New York street. No one with the Colts commented publicly on the appearance, but it was not well received at the team's complex.
Polian indicated the Colts might replace Vanderjagt from within. A candidate is recently signed free agent Shane Andrus, a kicker from Murray State. Andrus last kicked for the Kentucky school in 2002 -- he converted 26-of-36 career field goal attempts -- and has been working as a mortgage banker in Louisville, Ky.