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Projecting Grover Stewart’s Next Contract

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star Robert Scheer/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

Grover Stewart has established himself as one of the best run stopping interior defensive linemen in the NFL and has been a key clog in the Colts’ defense for many years. He plays the 1-tech spot in a 4-3 as well as anyone. With Chris Ballard’s constant emphasis on a strong defensive line, keeping Stewart might be his top priority next offseason. What type of contact can he command?

Contracts of Related Players

Kenny Clark — 4 year, $70,000,000 with $25,000,000 (35.7%) Guaranteed — Signed in 2020

Dalvin Tomlinson — 4 year, $57,000,000 with $27,500,000 (48.3%) Guaranteed — Signed in 2023

DJ Reader — 4 year, $53,000,000 with $20,250,000 (38.2%) Guaranteed — Signed in 2020

Ed Oliver — 4 year, 68,000,000 with $45,278,000 (66.6%) Guaranteed — Signed in 2023

If we account for inflation, the average of those contracts comes out to:

4 year, $66,350,000 with 31,320,000 (47.2%) Guaranteed

Those players were chosen based on the positions they they play along the defensive line, their regular assignments, statistics and play type as well as their (or projected) importance to their defenses.

Contract Projection

If we take the average and align it more to what Chris Ballard gave DeForest Buckner in terms of structure as well as factor the increase of guaranteed money over the past few years, we can project that Stewart’s contract would look like this:

4 years, $64,500,000 with 35,500,000 (55%) Guaranteed

Why It’s a No Brainer to Re-Sign Him

The defensive line is the backbone and engine of the defense. The two interior defensive linemen are crucial in Gus Bradley’s 4-3 system, which is why Ballard made the big investment in Buckner as the 3-tech and why I believe he will do the same for Stewart as a 1-tech.

He has stayed very healthy over the course of his career, only missing 2 games in his career and his tackles for loss numbers have climbed every year. He is in the middle of his athletic prime as a defensive linemen (late 20s, early 30s) and has been a good ambassador for the team since he was drafted in the 4th round in 2017. He checks off every box for Chris Ballard. He needs to be a part of the rebuild even though the rebuild is mostly happening on offense.