Colts: Who’s the biggest bargain on Indy’s roster?
By Jerry Trotta
As long as negotiations don’t go awry, the Indianapolis Colts will eventually have three players making top-of-the-market money.
Of course, Darius Leonard, Quenton Nelson and Braden Smith form that trio, though it’s not outlandish to think Nelson’s deal could come next offseason given that he’s signed through 2022 after the Colts exercised the fifth-year option on his rookie deal.
Since those three studs are still technically on their rookie contracts, they unfortunately don’t meet the criteria for this experiment: determining the biggest bargain on Indy’s roster. Given how little they’re making right now, it would be too easy to elect one of Leonard, Nelson or Smith.
In terms of players who signed post-rookie extensions with the Colts, the nod has to go to cornerback Kenny Moore, who inked a four-year, $33 million deal, which included $9 million guaranteed at the time of signing, during the 2019 offseason.
Kenny Moore is clearly the biggest bargain on the Colts’ payroll.
With so many standout players still on their rookie deals — including Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim Hines, Zach Pascal, Mo Alie-Cox and Khari Willis — plus the other handful of players who inked one-year contracts this offseason (like TY Hilton, Xavier Rhodes and TJ Carrie) Moore was really the only choice for the biggest bargain title.
For as much Pro Football Focus has disrespected the Colts’ best players this offseason, they absolutely nailed pegging Moore’s deal as one of the best contracts in the NFL. It’s the living definition of a team-friendly deal, as the former undrafted talent is arguably the best slot CB in the league and will account for the ninth-highest (!) cap hit on Indy’s payroll in 2021.
Moore will pocket just $6.4 million in 2021. Over the remaining three years of his deal the 25-year-old star is owed a little less than $20 million, which includes just $3.5 million in guarantees. Unreal. And Moore isn’t even the highest-paid cornerback in his own division!
That title belongs to Jaguars corner Shaquill Griffin. And for anybody wondering where Moore ranks across the league from an annual average value standpoint, he, according to Spotrac, is listed as the 24h-wealthiest CB at a measly $8.325 million. If you crunch the total value of Moore’s deal ($33.3 million), he jumps up eight spots to No. 16, which is still criminal.
Coming off a season in which he posted 80 tackles, four of which went for a loss, 13 passes defended, four interceptions, three QB hits and two sacks, Moore might force the Colts’ hand in giving him a new-and-improved extension if he shows out again in 2021.
We’ll cross that bridge when (and if) the time comes, but for the purposes of this article, the Valdosta State product is undoubtedly the biggest bargain on the Colts’ roster.