Veterans the Colts may have to move on from
These three veterans have been vital members of the Colts in recent years. They’re a select list comprised of guys with NFL experience, as mainstays of the Colts or simply in the league as a whole. However, it may be a challenge for Indy to keep them moving forward.
Although he is the oldest of the bunch, Stephon Gilmore is the most productive NFL player on the current Colts roster. Even though he has only played for the Colts for one season, Gilmore has solidified himself as one of the best cornerbacks of all time throughout his career. Gilmore will be 33.5 years old when his contract is up, so a lucrative deal is assumed to be out of the equation. This past offseason alone brought uncertainties about Gilmore and if he’s still got some gas left in the tank. As he signed a two-year deal with Indy a year ago, he has since proved to be the top-tier corner that he’s known to be.
With that being said, Gilmore’s Super Bowl-winning aspirations are seemingly not in the equation as the Colts are now in an unforeseen rebuilding stage. As much as Colts fans appreciate his tenure in Indy, bringing him back after this upcoming season does not seem realistic as the timeline simply doesn’t line up.
Grover Stewart is both a fan favorite and an unsung hero amongst Colts fans everywhere. His production doesn’t always show up on the stat sheet, but his presence is certainly felt, especially in the run game. With DeForest Buckner lined up beside him on every play, he’s bound to produce, regardless, he is incredibly valuable to what the Colts do defensively.
Stewart’s current contract puts him as the 13th-most expensive DT in the league. Couple his estimated contract in 2024 to be the 11th highest with DeForest Buckner’s already expensive contract, it may come down to picking one of the two to move forward with.
If that were the case, I would suggest moving forward with Buckner, however, Stewart’s value is certainly under-appreciated in general, despite what his contract may suggest. Picking one of the two and allocating the remaining funds toward an edge rusher may be the formula for Indianapolis moving forward.
Kenny Moore II
Another fan-favorite is Kenny Moore II, this is another tough conversation to be had. Whether it be timeline-fitting or production-based, the retention of Moore II is an interesting topic. Moore II has been a mainstay for the Colts’ defense ever since he was picked up off waivers from the New England Patriots back in 2017. He has since blossomed into one of the better slot cornerbacks in the league.
As of recent, however, he has seen lingering injuries and a new scheme interrupt his journey. Since he became a Colt, and prior to last season, Moore II had missed only a handful of games in five seasons, while providing Swiss-army knife production in the meantime.
Since he was named a Pro-Bowler in the 2021 season, his consistent production has dropped off, but there are reasons for that. It’s not as simple as he, checked out, as many Colts fans like to proclaim. A new scheme, one in which he admitted that he wasn’t adjusting to well, isn’t an excuse for bad play. I am certainly not insinuating that is the case here, however, with different injuries and whatnot in the mix, I feel it’s not yet fair to deem Kenny Moore II as disinterested.
Zak Keefer of the Athletic has reported that there’s already a decent chance the Colts move on from Moore II this offseason, given he is a prime trade candidate if the Colts want to make a deal with the Bears to move up for their QB of the future. If Moore II does indeed play out his contract in Indy, dependent on if/how he responds in the upcoming season, as it stands, a team-friendly extension at that point may be the only course of action left.