The young center is playing out his fifth-year option this season and should get a hefty contract extension soon.
Former GM Ryan Grigson made some bad decisions when it came to building the team for long term success. He would draft flashy players instead of bringing in the smart pick. Evidence of that is the fact that only four of his draftees are still on the roster.
One of those draftees is Ryan Kelly, who was the Colts’ first-round pick in 2016. He was the right pick made too late, as the damage on Andrew Luck had already been done. A porous offensive line for most of his career led to his early retirement before last season.
Kelly had nothing to do with that. He has been splendid since being drafted out of Alabama. Kelly has been one of the most underrated offensive linemen in the league since he’s been drafted. His talent was finally rewarded when he was selected to his first Pro Bowl last season.
Colts are about to pay Kelly what he deserves
Chris Ballard has been saving up cap space to extend guys that are worth it. Kelly is definitely worth it. Although he has some health concerns, missing 13 games over his first four years, his production is absolutely worth an extension.
Kelly is extremely smart, and he has to be playing center. He makes all of the calls for protection at the line of scrimmage. He is very strong and uses his leverage well. In the running game, he plows downhill and can get to the second level easily. In the passing game, he picks up blitzes up the middle with ease.
What Kelly might get in an extension is a little tricky to quantify. While some people think he might re-set the contract market at center, I’m not so sure. He will definitely get top-5 money, which puts him in the range of a four-year deal worth around $44 million.
Whatever the extension turns out to be, Kelly is definitely worth it. He is a guy who can be counted on for years to come.