The Indianapolis Colts are hopeful to ink contract extensions with Darius Leonard and Braden Smith before the start of the regular season.
While both players fully deserve to make top-of-the-market money, and we understand Indianapolis can’t sign everybody to a contract extension in one offseason, the lack of buzz regarding negotiations with Nyheim Hines has been shocking to say the least.
Entering the final year of his rookie contract and coming off a career season, Hines has quietly emerged as an indispensable piece of the Colts’ offense. The 2018 fourth-rounder has cemented himself as a fan favorite and his latest comments will only validate why that’s the case.
During his latest presser, Hines told reporters he was part of the crew that worked out with Carson Wentz in Dallas earlier this offseason. The third-year RB added that he hung out at Wentz’s house for extra throwing drills to further purify their chemistry.
Nyheim Hines’ latest comments prove he deserves a contract extension with the Colts.
Hines is already one of the best route-running RBs the NFL has to offer, so the fact he’s been working to improve in that department speaks volumes to his dedication.
With Jonathan Taylor coming off a standout rookie year, Hines knows he’ll have limited opportunities as a rusher … even though he set career highs across the board as a runner, including carries (89), yards (389), yards per attempt (4.3), and touchdowns (three).
Assuming Hines picks up where he left off, both as a runner and receiver, and puts together another big year, you better believe his price tag will skyrocket. By then, the Colts might not be able to afford him depending on what other areas of the roster need to be addressed.
With that in mind, we can’t help but look to Kenny Moore’s deal as a point of reference. After a breakout season, the Colts signed Moore to a four-year, $36 million extension during the 2019 offseason. Given that he has since established himself as a premier slot CB, that deal is now widely viewed among the biggest bargains in the NFL.
If the Colts don’t take a similar approach with Hines, they’ll run the risk of losing him to free agency. The coaching staff raves about the 24-year-old all the time, so it’s about time the franchise puts its money where its mouth is and pays the multi-purpose star.
Though Leonard’s and Smith’s extensions should take precedent, Hines should undoubtedly be next in line for a new contract. If the Colts let this drag on into next offseason, the potential consequences could see Hines pursue greener pastures, and nobody wants that.