Michael Pittman Jr. contract extension: What it means for Colts’ draft plans

Just before the free agency legal tampering period kicked off, it was announced that the Indianapolis Colts and Michael Pittman Jr. agreed to a three-year contract extension.

The deal reportedly can reach up to $71.5 million and it includes $46 million guaranteed.

This locks in the No. 1 target for Anthony Richardson and avoids any contract drama throughout OTAs and minicamp this summer—something I am sure Chris Ballard wanted to avoid after the Jonathan Taylor saga.

With Pittman now under contract, how does it impact Indy’s draft plans?

It shouldn’t. Pittman Jr. was already a lock to be on the roster in 2024 because of the franchise tag and based on Ballard’s comments at the NFL combine, there were no plans to trade him if both sides didn’t come to an agreement before the summer deadline.

A pass catcher in the first round should still be on the table for the Colts if they want one. With Pittman Jr.’s extension, Indianapolis has him, Alec Pierce, and Josh Downs all under contract through at least the 2025 season (Pierce’s last year of his rookie contract). They also have Ashton Dulin returning from an injury.

By adding a receiver via the draft, Ballard would have an inexpensive receiving corps with three players playing on rookie contracts.

This would allow the front office to utilize the cap space on other parts of the roster throughout the next few seasons while also taking advantage of the rookie quarterback contact Richardson is on.

Whether it is in the first round or later on in the draft, I still expect the Colts to leave with another young receiver on their roster come late April.

Story originally appeared on Colts Wire