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Report: Colts Re-Sign NT Grover Stewart to a New 3-Year Extension

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NFL: NOV 08 Ravens at Colts Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

According to the Indianapolis Star’s Jim Ayello, the Indianapolis Colts have agreed to a new 3-year contract extension with starting nose tackle Grover Stewart:

It’s obviously great news for the Colts, as Stewart was arguably their upcoming top priority in their loaded Class of 2021 free agents (which also included a long list of key players such as Philip Rivers, Justin Houston, Xavier Rhodes, and T.Y. Hilton among others).

Stewart’s new deal appears to be highly economical, as it places him as roughly the 18th highest paid defensive tackle ($10.25 annually) in the entire league (via Spotrac).

The former 2017 4th round pick of the Colts has had a breakout season for the Colts, as he’s anchored one of the league’s best run defenses (and most improved units overall).

Having trimmed his physique, improved his technique, and gotten more comfortable within the Colts defensive scheme, Stewart is having a career year. He’s recorded 36 tackles (25 solo), 4 tackles for loss, and a pass defensed in all 10 starts.

Per Pro Football Focus, ‘Big Grove’s’ 18 total run stops are third most (tied) among all interior defenders, as he’s been an inside force—as he’s helped the Colts defense swallow up opposing backfields to just 89.2 rushing yards per game (3rd fewest allowed in the NFL).

Having recently turned 27 in October, Stewart figures to have at least a handful of highly productive seasons left and should be a core player along the Colts defensive line for years to come—teaming up with All-Pro defensive tackle DeForest Buckner to form one of the league’s best interior tandems.

He’s well deserving of his lucrative new 3-year contract extension, which reportedly includes $20 million guaranteed, and it allows the Colts and specifically general manager Chris Ballard to shift their focus to the franchise’s other remaining upcoming offseason free agents—without having to worry about losing Stewart’s services anymore.

Since his arrival, Ballard has consistently preached about retaining the team’s homegrown talent who’ve earned it on the field, and no one has made a stronger claim to a bigger contract than Stewart this year—at least among the team’s imminent free agents.