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What will Jack Doyle’s next contract look like?

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

We’re just over a month away from the start of free agency, and over the next month we’ll be looking at each Colts free agent and whether the team should re-sign them.

One of the more interesting discussions is going to be about tight end Jack Doyle, who exceeded all expectations in 2016 and was the Colts’ best tight end. He was playing on a one-year, $1.671M RFA tender last offseason, and so he’ll be getting a nice raise this year. But it’s important to consider just how much he’s likely to get, and in that regard Spotrac helps us out quite a bit.

They calculate market value for a few key free agents, and they calculated the market value for Jack Doyle. They do this by looking at comparable players in terms of age and production and what contracts they received. For Doyle, the comparable players examined were Lance Kendricks, Vance McDonald, Ladarius Green, and Dwayne Allen. Doyle actually out-performed those guys in receptions per game, yards per game, and dropped passes over the two years before signing, and all of that adds up to a pretty nice projected contract for Doyle.

Spotrac projects Doyle to get a four-year deal worth $24,803,317, which would pay him an average of $6,200,829 per season.

That average salary would have made him the 17th-highest paid tight end in terms of average contract last year, and would make him the 16th-highest paid tight end for 2017 (depending on what else happens in free agency).

Doyle had a terrific 2016 season, playing in all 16 games and starting 14 of them, catching 59 passes for 584 yards and five touchdowns, averaging 9.9 yards per catch. He’s an important guy to the offense and emerged as a favorite target of Andrew Luck. Especially in Rob Chudzinski’s offense it’s important to have multiple tight ends, and it would make sense to bring Doyle back. They have around $50 million in cap room and it doesn’t sound like they’ll be super involved in free agency with Chris Ballard, but giving Doyle a contract like this one wouldn’t be a bad move.

What would be your thoughts on signing Doyle to the contract Spotrac projects?