FORT WAYNE — The Colts waived former Norwell standout Chandler Harnish on Tuesday.
Harnish, a quarterback out of Northern Illinois who became the 2012 NFL draft’s Mr. Irrelevant when the Colts made him the final pick in April, was let go along with outside linebacker Jerry Brown, who saw his first game action last weekend. Tight end Dominique Jones was also released from the practice squad.
The moves were made so the Colts could sign Weslye Saunders, a 6-foot-5, 270-pound second-year tight end out of South Carolina. Saunders was released Oct. 12 by the Pittsburgh Steelers, who signed him last year as a free agent.
Saunders played in 16 games (six starts) in 2011, with four catches for 29 yards and one touchdown.
Harnish, meanwhile, made the Colts’ active roster out of training camp, but was inactive for all five games this season. He played in all four preseason games, completing 27 of 47 passes for 406 yards and two touchdowns with one interception.
In the Colts’ last two preseason games, Harnish was 21 of 35 for 309 yards and a touchdown.
The Colts took Harnish with the 253rd pick after he set 30 quarterbacking records in college, passed for nearly 9,000 yards and rushed for nearly 3,000 more. In his senior year, he threw for 3,216 yards, ran for 1,379 more with 39 overall touchdowns and was named the Mid-American Conference MVP. For his career, he either ran or threw for 92 touchdowns.
“Thank you everyone for the support,” Harnish tweeted Tuesday night. “Just a bump in the road.”
That echoed the upbeat mentality he had at the beginning of camp last summer.
“I definitely feel like I’m prepared,” he said. “But I think the only real way for me to learn is to get out and take reps and a lot of times fail.
“You learn from your failures, because you learn how to correct those for the future.”