Kenny Moore has been playing the best football of his career in 2023. The one-time Pro Bowler was once one of the best nickel cornerbacks in the NFL, but being disguntled and injuries caused his play to severely dip last season. At one point in the 2022 season, Moore openly questioned his future with the Colts. Nevertheless, in his contract season, he not only returned to the Colts, but has found a new lease on his football life.
Through 10 games this season, Moore’s passer rating allowed is 69.9 (the lowest of his career), a missed tackle rate of 7.9% (lowest of his career), he has 3 interceptions and 2 pick 6’s. The passer rating allowed number is so good that it ranks in the top 10 in the NFL of all players who have played at least 50% of their team’s defensive snaps. He has been the team’s lone bright spot in what has been a weak secondary. In fact, he has been one of the lone bright spots on the entire defense.
Kenny Moore’s Projected Contract
Moore is currently making $8.33M per year and is having the best year of his career. That will most likely be the starting point of the next contract.
There aren’t many good comparisons in the NFL, but we could work with Patrick Peterson, Byron Murphy Jr, Cameron Sutton and Taron Johnson’s deal. Their deals are (adjusted for 2024 salary cap dollars):
- Patrick Peterson - 2 years, $15.1M with 42% guaranteed
- Byron Murphy Jr - 2 years, $18.9M with 72% guaranteed
- Taron Johnson - 3 years, $29.5M with 57% guaranteed
- Cameron Sutton - 3 years, 35.6M with 68% guaranteed
The average of those contracts would be 2 years, $19.8M with $11.9M guaranteed or 3 years, $29.7M with $17.8M guaranteed. Considering Moore is in the upper echelon of nickel cornerbacks and one of the best cornerbacks on the 2024 free agent market, that average figure would probably be surpassed. I believe that Moore’s deal will be a lot more similar to that of Sutton’s than the other 3 guys. Sutton, unlike the other three was a relatively hot free agent in a weak market and got overpaid by about 10-15%.
While Moore’s fair price is probably the average of the first three players, if we add 15% to adjust for teams overpaying in free agency (like they did with Sutton in my opinion), especially in what’s expected to be a weak cornerback market, I’d say that’s probably more accurate in projecting his deal. If that’s the case and assuming he gets 3 years, then Moore can expect a contract that’s:
3 years, $31,300,000 with $19,500,000 Guaranteed
Why Kenny Moore needs to be re-signed
The Colts secondary is very young and inexperienced. Moore provides a lot of stability to the position, especially an area that is requiring more and more players on the field in today’s pass first league. While JuJu Brents looks to be a promising player who should be a part of the long-term solution, Moore is the only cornerback who has proven that he can play at a high level week-to-week. At 28 years old (29 next year), he is still in the prime of his career and has at least a few more seasons of quality play in him.
He might’ve had a rocky couple of seasons with the current administration, but his play has been incredible this season and all potential differences (if they still remain) need to be put aside to keep a valuable player around.
The Colts are going to be pretty close to making the playoffs this season. They are currently 5-5 and in 9th place with an easy schedule remaining. Next season, they could very well be a playoff team and a strong contender to even win the division. The young group should return most of its players, including potential star quarterback Anthony Richardson. The team has serious potential and it would be a terrible thing if the secondary were a letdown for another season. Keeping Moore would at least ensure that a part of the secondary is stable and secure. Why replace him when he’s better than anyone on the market and probably anyone the Colts can get in the draft, at least in the short term.
Should the Colts keep Kenny Moore next season?