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Colts Re-Sign Kenny Moore II to Long-Term Extension

The Indianapolis Colts are retaining one of the best players in their secondary in Kenny Moore II.

In his first season as general manager of the Indianapolis Colts, Chris Ballard had to be convinced by his staff to take a chance on an undrafted rookie cornerback from Valdosta State. 

It turned out to be the right call, as Kenny Moore II has developed into a Pro Bowler and arguably the best slot cornerback in the NFL. And now, Moore will be paid like it.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Colts and Moore have agreed on a three-year, $30 million extension. The deal makes Moore the 19th-highest-paid cornerback in the NFL in terms of average annual value – first among slot corners – and keeps him in Indy through the 2026 season.

Moore was a free agent for the first time this season, but he ends up back in the place he has spent his entire seven-year career. Since being claimed off waivers by the Colts in 2017, Moore has started 89 games while tallying 516 tackles, 32 tackles for loss, 17 interceptions, three interceptions returned for touchdowns, four forced fumbles, 9.5 sacks, and 15 quarterback hits. He was also selected to the Pro Bowl in 2021.

"Kenny Moore II is a huge part of this football team," head coach Shane Steichen admitted in January. "He’s made a ton of plays for us. He’s that leader on the backend for us, that veteran presence, getting guys lined up, the communication process, the way he prepares and works – it’s big.”

Not long ago, there were questions about Moore's future with the Colts. After a 2022 season that saw Moore take a step back in new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley's scheme, the cornerback's name was floated around as a potential cap casualty or trade candidate. All of that chatter went away after Moore's bounce-back 2023 campaign.

Moore racked up 93 tackles, eight tackles for loss, three interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns, 1.5 sacks, and two QB hits in 2023. The veteran looked like himself again, having a massive impact on and off the field. Moore has become the leader of a young Colts secondary, and someone many in the locker room look to for advice.

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Indianapolis Colts cornerback Kenny Moore II (23) runs 49 yards for a touchdown after intercepting a pass by Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young (9) on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023, during a game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

“I couldn’t put any more flowers on Kenny’s desk if I wanted to," linebacker Zaire Franklin said after the season. "Just his leadership for me, a guy that I follow in this building. To be honest, I tell him all the time, I don’t know how it works without him to be honest with you. Just the role that he played in that DB room with all those young DBs, he was a guiding light for those guys – main communicator, playmaker.

"He means a ton to this team, he means a ton to me, and he means a ton to that locker room too. Kenny has been a mainstay for us for a long time. I don’t even want to know what it feels like without him."

Moore returning to the Colts is a big win for both sides. Moore wanted to stay in Indy, continuing his career with the team that gave him a shot. The Colts also keep one of their best playmakers on defense and a veteran in a very inexperienced secondary.

With Moore just 28 years old, the cornerback still has plenty of good years left. The extension was a no-brainer as long as the deal worked for both sides.  With contract talks now in the rearview mirror, Moore can focus solely on upping his game to the next level.

Knowing the man they call "Lightning in a Bottle," do not be surprised if Moore returns next season at the top of his game.

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