Colts sign former Ravens DE Redding, WR Wayne

New coach Chuck Pagano is returning to his past to rebuild the


On Wednesday, the Colts officially re-signed receiver Reggie

Wayne to a three-year deal worth $17.5 million and signed

free-agent defensive end Cory Redding to help anchor Indianapolis’

conversion of a 3-4 defense. Terms of Redding’s deal were not


Wayne befriended Pagano when the two were with Miami at the same

time, Pagano as a coach and Wayne as a player. Redding has played

the past two seasons in Baltimore, where Pagano was the defensive

coordinator last year.

”I believed my time was up in Baltimore and my relationship

with Chuck the last two years made this very easy,” Redding said

during a conference call with reporters. ”That’s why I’m here.

It’s mostly on Chuck and my relationship with him and doing

something special with the Colts.”

Adding Redding, a 6-foot-4, 298-pound end who is entering his

10th NFL season, marks a change in philosophy for a Colts team that

has typically run the 4-3 and relied on smaller, faster players to

chase down opponents. The switch to Pagano’s preferred style could

give Indy a whole new look.

Last week, the Colts cut defensive captains Gary Brackett and

Melvin Bullitt. They also re-signed Pro Bowl defensive end Robert

Mathis to a four-year, $36 million contract. In the new defense,

the 245-pound Mathis may be a better fit at linebacker.

With Redding lining up at end, Pagano now has the bigger

pass-rusher he needs on the edge of the line and a player who is

already familiar with the system.

”The biggest thing is football players are going to be what

they are – football players,” Redding said. ”I believe with

Chuck’s history and bringing guys in slowly last year, they

understood the package so when they got on the field, there wasn’t

no guessing. They knew what they were supposed to do, and with me

helping out and kind of backing him up, I believe we can help the

guys learn a lot faster.”

The addition of Redding is a rare move for a Colts’ team that

has traditionally focused on keeping its own free agents in


It also could cause more upheaval for a team that has undergone

a massive makeover since January.

After going an NFL-worst 2-14 and earning the No. 1 pick in next

month’s draft, team owner Jim Irsay fired the father-son front

office tandem of Bill and Chris Polian. He also got rid of coach

Jim Caldwell and most of his staff in January.

Then last week, the Colts cleaned the roster out. Gone are

four-time league MVP Peyton Manning, Brackett, Bullitt, running

back Joseph Addai, tight end Dallas Clark and backup quarterback

Curtis Painter.

And the next big departure could be Pro Bowl defensive end

Dwight Freeney, who is reportedly being shopped by the Colts. New

general manager Ryan Grigson would not confirm he was looking to

deal or cut Freeney, who counts $19 million against this season’s

salary cap. Getting rid of Freeney could save Indy $14 million

against the cap immediately.

On Tuesday night, word leaked that Wayne, one of Manning’s

favorite targets, was staying with the Colts — the same team that

drafted him with the No. 30 overall pick in 2001. The 33-year-old

Wayne is No. 2 all-time in franchise history in receptions (862),

yards receiving (11,708) and TD receptions (73).

Plus, Wayne will give presumed No. 1 pick Andrew Luck a steady

hand to lean on.

”As everybody knows, Coach Pagano and I are really good

friends. I wanted to do it for him,” Wayne said. ”I know it’s

going to be a tough situation going into it, but who knows, it may

work out for the better in the long run. Even if I’m not here, I

can always say I helped build that foundation.”

Grigson isn’t finished making moves, either.

Earlier Wednesday, the Colts swapped sixth-round picks in this

year’s draft with Philadelphia. The Colts will give up the second

pick in the round and will get the Eagles pick (No. 17 in the

round) along with offensive tackle Winston Justice, a second-round

pick in 2006 who has started 31 games over his career.

For Wayne, the opportunity to finish his career in the same he

started means even more.

”I could have made a couple of dollars more, a couple more

pennies. But, I was fine with this situation that I’m in,” Wayne

said. ”Right before I made my decision, I took 30 minutes and just

closed myself in my office. I just thought (about) what all made

sense and put everything in perspective. Like I said, I Googled

myself and looked at all my career stats and put everything into a

small bottle and shook it up. The first thing that came to my mind

and popped out was to stay here with the Colts.”

Notes: Carlie Irsay-Gordon, Casey Irsay Foyt and Kalen Irsay,

Irsay’s three daughters, will now hold the titles of vice

chairman/owner … Longtime general counsel Dan Emerson will now

get the title of vice president and general counsel … James

Bettcher has been hired as Pagano’s special assistant and Mike

Bluem has been named director of football administration.