Colts GM Chris Ballard said at his press conference that the team will pick up the fifth-year option on center Ryan Kelly‘s contract, per Joel Erickson of the Indianapolis Star (Twitter link). Kelly was taken by the Colts 18th overall back in 2016. This isn’t too surprising, as Kelly has been a starter since his rookie season. We don’t know the exact terms of the option yet, but it’ll pay him somewhere close to $10MM.
The fifth-year option is only guaranteed for injury, so it doesn’t actually ensure Kelly will be with the team at that price in 2020. Kelly has been a bit banged up the past couple of years, missing four games in 2018 and nine games in 2017. But he’s been solid when he’s been able to stay on the field, earning Pro Football Focus’ 14th-best grade among all centers last year.
Indianapolis’ offensive line took a major step forward last year, and was a huge part of the team’s success. Keeping Andrew Luck upright is the most important thing for the team, and they clearly view Kelly as the longterm answer at center. An Alabama product, Kelly will turn 26 next month.
Teams have until May 3rd to pick up the options on their 2016 first round picks. You can view the tracker with each team’s decision here.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.