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The contract dispute between cornerback Kenny Moore II and the Indianapolis Colts hasn’t gotten ugly yet, but there is a chance things escalate when training camp arrives.
While Moore was participating in mandatory minicamp this week before suffering a minor injury Tuesday and was held out for precautionary reasons Wednesday. Before that, Moore was present but not participating in the voluntary portions of the offseason workout program.
He spoke to reporters for the first time since the news Wednesday and didn’t rule out a holdout during training camp.
“I would love to be on the field at training camp,” Moore II told reporters Wednesday. “With it being June right now, I’m just taking it one day at a time right now, respectfully.”
Should Moore get to the point where he does holdout, the Colts will be forced to fine him $50,000 per day under the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Moore’s importance to the defense can’t be overstated. Calling him simply a slot cornerback doesn’t really do him justice. He’s far more versatile than that and plays on the boundary when the Colts only have two cornerbacks on the field.
He also does have a legitimate gripe with his contract situation relative to the rest of the league. His $8.4 average annual value (AAV) ranks 27th among all cornerbacks in the NFL.
However, it’s mostly the “slot corner” label that irks Moore the most. He believes he contributes more than that.
“I won’t go into comparisons or anything, all that stuff will handle itself,” Moore II said. “But as far as my play, I don’t like the whole nickel, slot corner thing. I’m a corner at the end of the day. You guys watch the games that we play.”
While Moore isn’t participating in the voluntary portions of the offseason workouts, he still wants to focus on football and leave the negotiations to his agent.
“We all know there is a business side to it,” Moore II said. “You guys already know how I feel about this city, this team, this community, and we’ll handle that.”
Moore is an invaluable piece to the defense. He makes plays on the ball, contributes heavily in run defense and is strong in both man and zone coverage.
We’ll see what happens when it comes to the contract negotiations, but this may be trending toward a training camp holdout.