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Colts ‘saved a lot’ on Michael Pittman contract extension

The wide receiver market has exploded, but as Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap notes, the Colts ‘saved a lot’ by extending Michael Pittman early in the offseason.

Pittman was set to hit free agency this offseason, but before he could, the Colts placed the franchise tag on him, keeping him under contract for the 2024 season.

Then, about a week and a half later, the two sides agreed to a three-year extension – replacing the franchise tag – that will keep Pittman in Indianapolis through the 2026 season.

This deal is worth $68 million in total, or just under $23 million per year, and comes with $46 million guaranteed, including a $15 million signing bonus.

It is certainly a well-deserved pay-day for Pittman, who has been the one constant within the Colts offense, producing regardless of the quarterback situation. Pittman has eclipsed 124 targets in each of the last three seasons and recorded over 1,000 receiving yards in two of the last three.

“He shows up every week,” Shane Steichen said of Pittman Jr. “He is a consistent football player that is going to give it everything he’s got and when the ball is thrown to him, he’s going to go make plays. That’s what he does every week and he’s consistent doing it.

“When we need a big play, he’s the guy that makes it for us usually in the pass game. He’s been doing it here for a while and just very fortunate to have him on this football team.”

“When you have a player like him and you know that the ball is getting thrown to him in clutch situations and he finds a way to get open and make a play – it’s big time. It says a lot about him, his character, his preparation and his playmaking ability.”

However, in the grand scheme of the receiver market, that deal, which is only a few months old, is already looking like a good one for the Colts, as Fitzgerald noted.

Here are the other notable wide receiver contracts that have been earned since Pittman signed his deal:

Amon-Ra St. Brown – 4 years, $120M
Calvin Ridley – 4 years, $92M
Jaylen Waddle – 3 years, $84.8M
Devonta Smith – 3 years, $75M
Nico Collins – 3 years, $72.8M

“Big winner in all the WR movement was the Colts who got Pittman in at $23M a year,” said Fitzgerald on X. “Unless a team is really going to do something special for you there is no real reason to rush into a contract when on a franchise tender. Let the market set itself. Colts saved a lot.”

As of now, in terms of average annual value, Pittman ranks 11th at the reciever position entering 2024, although new deals for Justin Jefferson and/or Tee Higgins would drop him further. And next offseason, as more receiver get their pay-days, Pittman will fall further down those rankings.

Story originally appeared on Colts Wire