Earlier tonight, the Colts made their first big signing of the Chris Ballard era, agreeing to terms on a new deal with tight end Jack Doyle.
According to NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo (and since confirmed by others), Doyle’s deal is for three years and is worth $19 million, with another $2 million possible in incentives.
That’s a really fair deal for both Doyle and the Colts. When it comes to his base salary, he’ll average $6.3 million per year over the next three years, while it’s possible he can earn incentives that will make it $7 million per year. There should be absolutely no one surprised by those numbers, as all along it’s seemed like Doyle would get somewhere around that $6-7 million range per year in free agency. His new contract with the Colts puts him right around that mark.
So for the Colts, they get their best tight end under contract for a reasonable price. It seems like what they’re paying Doyle is right in line with his market value, and it will put him just 16th among tight ends in average value - and behind Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener. Considering the fact that Doyle has proven to be a more capable and reliable all-around tight end than either of them, it’s hard to complain about this deal.
On the other side, for Doyle, he gets paid a fair deal in terms of his projected market value while still getting the chance to stay with his hometown team and catch passes from Andrew Luck. In terms of the best situation for Doyle, this seems like a very good fit. He gets to stay with the Colts and with Luck while still getting paid fairly (in other words, he didn’t have to take a hometown discount).
The Colts really didn’t have any top-tier free agents to re-sign this year, and Jack Doyle was clearly the top guy out of that group to bring back. He’s a very good player, and this contract is hard to complain about for either side. It’s a fair deal to bring back a really well-liked and good player, and the Colts have one of Luck’s favorite targets under contract for three more years.