Michael Pittman Jr. contract: Projecting what an extension might look like

Jan 1, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr.
Jan 1, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. is now eligible to sign an extension with the Indianapolis Colts. What might this contract extension look like for Pittman?

The 2023 NFL season will be the final year of Michael Pittman Jr.’s rookie contract. That means that Pittman is now eligible for a well-deserved contract extension. Pittman has established himself as the No. 1 wide receiver for the Indianapolis Colts, and Indy will surely want to keep Pittman in a Colts uniform, so it’s likely that a deal gets done.

With Indianapolis expected to select a quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft, the team will want him to have a security blanket like Pittman at wideout. However, Pittman knows the value of wide receivers in today’s NFL, so he could threaten to test the market if Indy isn’t offering him the type of contract he’s hoping to receive.

Considering Pittman’s status as a receiver in this league and for the Colts, what would a contract extension for him look like?

Projecting Michael Pittman Jr.’s contract extension with Colts

According to Spotrac, the calculated market value for a Pittman extension is a four-year deal worth a little under $74 million. That would give Pittman an average annual salary of $18.4 million, the 17th-most among wide receivers in the NFL today.

This seems like the appropriate range for Michael Pittman Jr. After playing 46 games in three seasons, and catching 227 passes for 2,510 and 11 touchdowns, Pittman isn’t going to reset the wide receiver market, but he will get a contract that shows he’s one of the better receivers in the league. Getting paid around $18 million annually would put him in the company of wideouts like Diontae Johnson and Christian Kirk.

If Pittman decides to test the market, that number could probably get closer to $20 million annually, and depending on the kind of 2023 season he has, it could grow even more. That’s why the timing of this deal is so important. The Colts and Pittman could get a deal done this offseason, likely at a lower price, or Pittman could play out his rookie contract, take his game to another level next season, and enter free agency in 2024, so teams could drive up the price trying to outbid each other.

Surely, the Colts are hoping it doesn’t come to that, because they’ll like to have Pittman around for years to come, without breaking the bank.

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