Chris Ballard has a very specific vision for the Colts in both the long and short term. He has spoken since his arrival about building through the draft and developing the players you have. There is simply no way to have sustainable success in the NFL without regularly finding success doing these two things.
While pundits have perennially labeled the Colts as a prime destination for nearly every big-name free agent due to their substantial salary cap space, their actual free agent moves have been subtle, and to some, underwhelming. A brief look at this offseason though, and you can see that Chris Ballard is doing exactly what he wants to with all that cap space.
While they did sign DE Justin Houston, WR Devin Funchess, and RB Spencer Ware, the Colts were not embroiled in any bidding wars and largely quiet during free agency. What they have been doing this offseason, is re-signing and extending players already in the building. So far they have re-signed or extended 8 players, and more may be coming as we near a lull in the NFL calendar.
The latest extension is for former UDFA Kenny Moore who joined the team two years ago and has absolutely maximized his opportunity, proving time and again to be a versatile playmaker both on the outside and specifically in the slot. Moore’s play throughout last season was often underrated, and his tough style of play set a tone for the defensive backs that carried across the unit.
The #Colts and CB Kenny Moore have agreed to terms on a 4-year extension, source said, one that makes him the highest paid slot CB in the NFL on new money. He had a year left, then an RFA tag. This replaces the tag and more. He can also play outside, but is their starting slot.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 13, 2019
Moore is a prime example of exactly the kind of thing GM Chris Ballard wants out of his team. He was brought in after being released by the Patriots and given a chance to develop and grow in his first year. When injuries gave him a chance to get on the field, he made the most of it, and by year two he was cemented as a starter. A second year in the same defensive system under DC Matt Eberflus should only see Moore’s impact on this defense grow.
Details on the #Colts extension with slot CB Kenny Moore: He was to make $645K this year and would be an RFA next year at $3M or so, depending on the level. On his new deal, he’ll make $30M in new money from 2021-2023, with a max value of more than $36M, source said.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 13, 2019
Here are all the players who have been extended or re-signed this offseason:
- Pierre Desir
- Clayton Geathers
- Mark Glowinski
- Margus Hunt
- Kenny Moore
- Luke Rhodes
- Rigoberto Sanchez
- Adam Vinatieri
A few names to keep an eye on for possible extensions are Anthony Castonzo, Eric Ebron, and Jack Doyle. All are set to become free agents in 2020, and are key parts of the offense. Given Ebron’s monster season in 2018, it would be a surprise if he resigns before the end of the season. The influx of new weapons and return of a healthy Jack Doyle will make it tough for Ebron to repeat his incredible year, and so it probably behooves the Colts to wait it out. However, Castonzo has been the Colts most proven and reliable lineman, and getting him extended will be a priority for the team.
There can be little doubt to the incoming rookies and second year players that if they raise their game and perform at a high level, they can expect to be cashing big paychecks when it comes time to grab that second contract. Chris Ballard has made sure of it.