Colts Terminate Royal’s Contract
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ The Indianapolis Colts on Monday terminated the contract of veteran linebacker Andre Royal.
The team announced Royal, who had been suspended for Sunday’s game with the Miami Dolphins, was released ``for the good of the team.″
Coach Jim Mora and club president Bill Polian declined to state Royal’s latest violation. Royal, who started the first three games this season, has been involved in a series of disciplinary problems in recent years.
``The only comment I’m going to make on that is it was a violation of team policy and it was something we felt we needed to do,″ Mora said after Sunday’s game. ``I’m not going to get into details.″
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Royal also was suspended by the Colts for last year’s Dec. 6 game at Atlanta.
He was acquired by Indianapolis in a trade with New Orleans before the 1998 season. While Royal was with New Orleans, he was involved in a hazing incident in which a Saints’ rookie claimed he was hit, kicked and pounded with a bag of coins during training camp.
Royal also was arrested in New Orleans for refusing to pay for private dances at a French Quarter strip club. He later settled with the club, but the stripper sued Royal claiming he hit her.
Last year, the linebacker reported late to training camp and missed most of the practices with a strained calf muscle. He later got into a shouting match with Ditka when the Saints coach implied he might be faking the injury.
Indianapolis is Royal’s fourth team since he signed as a free agent with Baltimore in 1995. He was waived by the Ravens before the season and became a starter for Carolina in his third season with the Panthers.
Royal had 21 tackles in three games this year, including a sack against Buffalo in the season-opener.
Rookie Mike Peterson started in Royal’s place on Sunday, and will retain the starting job, Mora said.