Colts Exercise DE Kwity Paye’s Fifth-Year Option

Kwity Paye will remain in the Colts’ plans for at least the next two years. The ascending edge rusher had his 2025 fifth-year option picked up on Thursday, per a team announcement.

[RELATED: Fifth-Year Option Tracker]

Selected 21st overall, Paye was the third edge rusher to hear his name called in 2021. He has been a major factor in the Colts’ front seven since his rookie season, logging 43 games to date (all starts). The 25-year-old has seen his production increase incrementally each year, from four to six to 8.5 sacks.

Given the Colts’ preference for retaining their own, coupled with Paye’s durability and statistics, today’s move comes as no surprise. Qualifying for the lowest-valued option, the Michigan product will collect $13.4MM in 2025 barring a long-term extension being worked out before then. In the immediate future, he should remain a full-time starter in Indianapolis’ edge contingent.

Of course, that group saw a rather notable addition this weekend. During the first round of the 2024 draft, the Colts became the first team to select a defensive player. They added edge rusher Laiatu Latu 15th overall, providing the team with a high-upside prospect (albeit one with a notable injury history). Latu and Paye will be an intriguing young pairing along the edge for at least the next two seasons.

With respect to veteran defensive ends, Indianapolis has 2023 addition Samson Ebukam attached to a $24MM deal. The team also retained Tyquan Lewis at the outset of free agency on a two-year, $12MM pact. The Colts extended defensive tackle DeForest Buckner recently, and he will remain a focal point of their pass rush along the interior.

Overall, Indianapolis ranked fifth in sacks last season despite no one player reaching double digits. That by-committee approach will continue moving forward, and Paye’s ability to continue progressing will be a key storyline for the team. Another career-year could set himself up for a notable payday, but even if that does not take place the option price will be somewhat reasonable given the top of the edge market. With Latu in place as a future starter, Paye’s performance in 2024 will be worth monitoring closely.

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