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Colts Sign Key Defender to Contract Extension

The Indianapolis Colts have inked a key defender to a long-term extension ahead of free agency.
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The contact period for free agency opens Monday at Noon EST. All eyes have been on the current batch of free agents including Kenny Moore and Grover Stewart. The Indianapolis Colts made sure one of their key defenders wouldn't enter free agency for some time.

According to Ian Rapoport, the Colts have inked linebacker Zaire Franklin to a three-year contract extension.

"Before free agency, an extension: The #Colts are signing LB Zaire Franklin to a 3-year, $31.26M extension, per agents Drew Rosenhaus and Kyle Lincoln," reported Rapoport on X.

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Details for the contract structure have yet to be released, but Franklin will get a significant raise on the $3.4 million he's due to receive in 2024. Franklin's new deal shouldn't adversely affect the Colts' ability to be players in free agency this week.

The Colts will still be roughly $45 million under the cap according to Spotrac.

Franklin originally signed a three-year, $10-million contract in 2022 and was set to become a free agent after the 2024 season. After going to the wire with running back Jonathan Taylor and receiver Michael Pittman Jr., the Colts took care of business early with their star linebacker.

Franklin rewarded the Colts with 167 and 179 tackles the first two years of his new contract. His 179 tackles last season was second in the NFL behind Bobby Wagner (who is a free agent).

The contact period opens Monday with free agents able to ink new deals on Wednesday. We'll see how the Colts prioritize other key defenders like Moore and Stewart who can officially begin negotiating with other teams today. 

The Colts have managed their cap well, and they have the ability to re-sign Moore and Stewart while still adding to the team

They took care of Pittman. They took care of Franklin. Who's next for general manager Chris Ballard and the Colts?

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