With the regular season nearing its end, some veterans of the Indianapolis Colts need to take advantage of the final four games.
It’s no secret the makeup of the 2022 Indianapolis Colts has resulted in a regression to the mean type of season. With a general manager who has an (admittedly commendable) philosophy of paying your guys first, the Colts have one of the worst ratios of contract-production across the entire league. Although only one of the three highlighted Colts has played this year on an expiring contract, the other two seemingly have stability given they have years left on their contract(s), but those commitments may need revisiting come offseason time.
Based on contracts, player grades, and the overall outlook of the current-day Colts, I strive to explain the hard-to-swallow pill that may result in parting ways with some of the more beloved players on the roster.
3. Defensive back Kenny Moore II
As far as the business side of things goes, parting ways with longtime Colt, Kenny Moore II, may be the most beneficial, but also most feasible of the three players on this list. On the contrary, when it comes to team culture, or in this case colture, bidding adieu to the franchise’s 2021 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee may inherit some backlash.
Kenny Moore II has been more than just a positive light for the city of Indianapolis, as he’s selflessly attended any and every local community service event in the Indy area since his Colts’ tenure began back in 2017. Unfortunately, as we’re so frequently reminded— this league is a business first and foremost, and more often than not, due to an abundance of reasons, fandoms lose out on their beloved community heroes.
Moore II’s regression dating back to Week 17 of the 2021 season, and now an uncharacteristic trip to the Injured Reserve, is giving Chris Ballard and Co. more and more reason to move on. In 2019, when Moore II and the organization agreed to a (then) lucrative four-year extension worth $33 Million, it made Moore II the highest-paid slot corner in the league. As the league collectively became richer, said contract would become rather team-friendly in 2022. However, with another extension looming, especially one that’ll inevitably see a pay raise given the current scope of the league as well as the fact Moore II netted his first Pro Bowl nod in the previous contract, it will be difficult to warrant given his recent regression.
Among 119 qualifying cornerbacks, Kenny Moore II has posted the 82nd-best PFF Player Grade. Moore II has remained a solid presence as far as stopping the run goes, which dwells well for him given he exclusively plays the slot-corner role, posting a 10th-best rush defense grade of 80.5. It’s the passing game where Moore II has dropped off immensely. This season he has an abysmal coverage grade of 46.3, which ranks 110th out of the 119 qualifying corners.
Warranting a similar contract to that of his last will be difficult given his fall off in play, not only from this year but from his 2021 season as well. Despite securing a Pro Bowl bid in the season prior, Moore II dropped from a top-15 graded player in 2019 and 2020 to the 37th-best graded corner in 2021, and now the 82nd-best in 2022. PFF Player Grades have always been, and always will be a subjective metric, but it goes to show how the rest of the league is viewing him.