Colts’ fourth-year running back Nyheim Hine is entering the final year of his rookie deal. Since coming into the league in 2018, the speedy back and former fourth-round pick has played a pivotal role in the offense each season, with his number of carries and catches progressing each year.
Let’s look a few different stats throughout Hines’ career thus far. In three seasons, Hines has a total of 893 rushing while averaging 4.0 YPC, according to Profootballreference.com. As a receiver, according to the same site, the elusive back has a grand total of 1,227 yards and averages 7.2 yards per reception.
Additionally, Hines has caught nearly 80% of his passes with a 79.1% catch percentage within his first three seasons. For comparison sake, this stat alone puts the star back in elite company, as some of the better pass-catching backs in the league, like the Saints’ Alvin Kamara, the Chargers’ Austin Ekeler and the Panthers’ Christian McCaffrey, have slightly better catching percentages throughout their respective careers.
Still, to be atop the list in total catch percentage, which is an underrated stat, in my opinion, speaks volumes to not only Hines’ level of production, but his importance to the Colts’ offense.
But will the do-it-all back be rewarded with a contract extension at the end of the season? NFL history has shown that teams don’t typically give long-term extensions to running backs because it’s “easy” to find another player with “a similar skillset.”
With Hines, though, Indy gets more than just your standard pass-catching running back; they get a tough, ridiculously talented football player whose stats and unique traits and elements make him a matchup nightmare for any opposing linebacker or safety.
How many running backs in today’s NFL can carry the ball with efficiency, catch the ball out of the backfield as well as some wide receivers and be one of the best in the NFL as a kick and punt return specialist? Three to four come to mind, but that’s really it.
Hines represents everything the Colts stand for as an organization. He’s a classy, underrated and all-around football player who’s far too valuable not to receive a contract extension. Of course, contract negotiations have to be fair for both the team and player. That’s a given.
In my mind, Hines is 100% deserving of a long-term contract extension, and the Colts would be wise to get it done sooner rather than later because players with his kind of versatility and traits don’t come around too often.