The team announced Sunday that it has released the right tackle, who struggled with injuries and consistency in two years with Indianapolis.
The Colts made Cherilus the highest-paid right tackle in football when they signed the former first-round pick to a five-year, $34.5 million contract in 2013. Cherilus started 16 games in his first season with the Colts, but was one of the least effective right tackles in football during an injury-plagued 2014. He finished 70th out of 84 qualified tackles in Pro Football Focus' ratings last season.
Cherilus' recovery from an offseason knee scope has not progressed quickly, and he missed all of the team's offseason program. He'll likely be replaced in the starting lineup by Jack Mewhort, who filled in for Cherilus during most of OTAs and minicamp. The Colts invested just one draft pick in the offensive line this year, selecting tackle Denzelle Good in the seventh round.
The move saves the Colts significant cash. Cherilus made $16.5 million in his first two seasons in Indianapolis, but the rest of his owed money ($18.5 million) was not guaranteed. General manager Ryan Grigson had the chance to get out of a bad investment, and that's what he's done.