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Chris Ballard expects Michael Pittman Jr. to remain with Colts one way or another

The Colts haven't used the franchise tag on wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. yet, but it won't be a surprise if they do so before Tuesday's deadline.

General Manager Chris Ballard said at a press conference from the Scouting Combine that he has been talking with Pittman's agent about a long-term deal and that the two sides will continue to have those conversations over the coming days. Ballard initially called the franchise tag a "tool" and declined to say that he'd use it on Pittman before giving a more emphatic answer later in the session.

Ballard said, via multiple reporters, that he expects Pittman to be on the Week One roster one way or another. If Pittman does get tagged, the two sides can continue talking about a long-term deal through the middle of July.

The tag carries a $21.816 million salary for 2024 and it would be fully guaranteed if Pittman signs it.