INDIANAPOLIS -- The Colts let the NFL's deadline pass without using the franchise or transition tags on linebacker Gary Brackett.
Brackett can become an unrestricted free agent March 5. Colts president Bill Polian said Wednesday he still hopes to re-sign Indy's defensive captain to a long-term deal before that date.
The decision not to tag Brackett was no surprise. Polian said Wednesday he was unlikely to use the franchise tag, which would have cost the team about $9.7 million. The transition tag would have cost about $8.4 million.
Brackett's agent, Brian Mackler, confirmed the decision in an e-mail to The Associated Press.
Brackett has started the past five seasons and was Indy's No. 2 tackler in 2009.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press