Ryan Kelly

Colts To Retain C Ryan Kelly, CB Kenny Moore II

The Colts are planning to retain both center Ryan Kelly and cornerback Kenny Moore II, as Zak Keefer of The Athletic writes (subscription required). GM Chris Ballard recently fielded trade calls on both players, and a report last month indicated that he was actively shopping Kelly, but he clearly did not get an offer to his liking.

“They’re both great Colts, and we’re glad they’re here,” Ballard said. “When you’ve got a good football player that is a great person and a great fit, it makes it hard to move away from those guys.”

Kelly, who will turn 30 in May, was one of the primary culprits in the surprising regression that the Colts’ offensive line experienced in 2022. That group, widely considered one of the team’s greatest strengths, struggled last season, and Kelly himself earned middle-of-the-road grades from Pro Football Focus after surrendering five sacks, 25 total pressures, and failing to generate much push in the run game. Still, he earned Pro Bowl acclaim every year from 2019-21, and as Indianapolis could soon be deploying a rookie quarterback, having an accomplished player at the pivot makes sense.

Moore, who is entering his age-28 season, lobbied for a new contract last year. While the deal that he signed in 2019 set a record for slot corners, Moore argued that his pay should reflect the fact that slot defenders are really starting players in today’s pass-heavy league, and that his ability to line up outside the numbers, make tackles in space, and play behind the line of scrimmage should also be rewarded. Ultimately, the Colts did not make any adjustments to Moore’s contract, and Moore turned in perhaps the worst season of his career.

Although PFF continued to laud his work against the run, it assigned Moore a poor overall grade of 55.7. He failed to record an interception for the first time in his six professional seasons, and he yielded an unsightly quarterback rating of 117.7. In fairness, he was playing through a torn ligament in his left hand and also dealt with a right hand sprain before his season was cut short by an ankle injury, and he did not fit as well in defensive coordinator Gus Bradley‘s scheme as he had in the scheme utilized by former DC Matt Eberflus. Regardless of the reason, though, Moore’s performance took a lucrative new contract off the table for the time being, so his upcoming platform campaign will be especially critical for his future earning power.

Releasing Moore would create a cap savings of $7.6MM while leaving a minimal dead money charge of $500K, and a trade would remove the dead money hit completely. Still, after the Colts traded Stephon Gilmore and saw Brandon Facyson defect to the Raiders in free agency, the team’s cornerback depth is suspect. Per Joel A. Erickson of the Indianapolis Star, Ballard — who concedes the Gilmore deal was partially cap-driven — thinks highly of presumptive boundary starters Isaiah Rodgers and Dallis Flowers, but it makes sense that he would not want to thin the CB room even further by cutting ties with Moore (Twitter link).

Nonetheless, one would expect Ballard to attempt to shore up the position in the coming months, and the draft would be one way to do that. Likewise, new head coach Shane Steichen wants to add reinforcements to the offensive line, as Keefer tweets, and an heir apparent for Kelly could be in the cards. At present, 2022 UDFA Wesley French represents the Colts’ fallback option at center.

Colts Shopping C Ryan Kelly

The Colts could be looking to move on from their Pro Bowl offensive lineman. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Colts are shopping center Ryan Kelly. The organization could also consider cutting the veteran, but they’ll exhaust the trade market before making a move.

Kelly inked a sizable four-year, $50MM extension with the Colts prior to the 2020 season. He earned Pro Bowl nods in both 2020 and 2021, and in 2022, he started all of his team’s games for the first time since 2019.

However, thing’s aren’t as rosy as they may appear. The Colts offensive line struggled mightily in 2022, with Pro Football Focus grading Kelly as a middle-of-the-road center (16th among 36 qualifying players). Despite the Pro Bowl nod, the site ranked Kelly 32nd among 39 centers during the 2021 campaign, and they haven’t given the player a top-10 grade since 2019.

With impending cap hits of $12.4MM and $14.6MM in 2023 and 2024, respectively, the Colts could decide to move on from the veteran as they continue to pivot towards the future. Considering his track record, it wouldn’t take long for a team to scoop up Kelly in free agency, and there’s a chance the organization could find a suitor on the trade market.

Kelly isn’t the only Colts player who’s on the trade block. Per Fowler, tight end Mo Alie-Cox is also “potentially available.” The 29-year-old has averaged 24.7 receptions for 300 yards and three touchdowns per season over the past three years.

Colts OLs Ryan Kelly, Mark Glowinski To Miss Saturday’s Game

The Colts continue to climb the AFC standings, but they’ll have to take on the formidable Cardinals on Saturday without two starting linemen. According to The Athletic’s Stephen Holder (on Twitter), linemen Ryan Kelly (personal) and Mark Glowinski (reserve/COVID-19 list) will both miss this weekend’s game.

Kelly was just named to his third-straight Pro Bowl, and the 28-year-old is having another standout season for Indy. He’s appeared in at least 90 percent of his team’s offensive snaps in his 12 starts. 2020 fifth-round pick Danny Pinter will likely get the start in place of Kelly.

Glowinski was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list earlier today. The former fourth-round pick has generally been a starter throughout his time with the Colts, and he’s started 12 of his 14 games in 2021. Chris Reed could get the nod in Glowinski’s stead.

While the team’s going to have to deal with some absences on their offensive lineman, they can rest easy knowing All-Pro Quenton Nelson will be in uniform. Per Holder, the offensive lineman was back at practice today after dealing with an illness earlier this week.

In other injury news, Holder notes that the team will also be without Andrew Sendejo (concussion) on Saturday. The 34-year-old defensive back joined the Colts back in September, and he’s started 10 of his 12 games this season. collecting 40 tackles.

Colts Place C Ryan Kelly On COVID-19 List

One of the Colts’ cornerstone players will be sidelined for their Week 13 game against the Texans. Ryan Kelly is now on Indianapolis’ reserve/COVID-19 list.

The Colts had previously seen every other offensive line starter miss time this season, with injuries intervening at various points for the acclaimed group. Kelly, however, had been Indy’s rock here. The former first-round pick had started each of the Colts’ 12 contests this season.

The rest of the Colts’ offensive front is currently healthy, and the Colts’ Week 14 bye points to Kelly missing just one game because of this development. While Kelly missed time in 2017 and ’18, he has only missed one game over the past three seasons. During that time, the Colts’ O-line has become one of the NFL’s best. Kelly made the Pro Bowl in 2019 and last season. This year, Jonathan Taylor has amassed a significant lead in rushing yards behind that group. Taylor’s 1,205 yards lead the league; Derrick Henry still sits second at 937.

Additionally, the Colts activated Khari Willis off IR and waived safety Josh Jones. A second-year safety starter, Willis has missed the past four games. The Colts had played without both safety starters in November, with Julian Blackmon having torn his Achilles early this season.

Colts Revise Ryan Kelly’s Contract

The Colts have converted $9MM of Ryan Kelly‘s salary into a signing bonus (Twitter link via Field Yates of ESPN.com). As a result, they’ll have an additional $6.75MM in cap room to work with. 

[RELATED: Colts Place Hilton On IR]

Kelly, who was recently activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list, signed a four-year, $50MM re-up with the Colts exactly one year ago. The former first-round pick received $34MM in guaranteed cash as a part of the deal, making him the highest-paid center in the league at the time of signing. He’s since been leapfrogged by Frank Ragnow (Lions; $13.5MM) and Corey Linsley (Chargers; $12.5MM).

The Colts drafted Kelly No. 18 overall in 2016. The Alabama product made his first Pro Bowl in 2019 as the Colts placed third in Pro Football Focus’ O-line rankings. He earned Pro Bowl nod N0. 2 last year and the Colts are hoping for more of the same, especially with star guard Quenton Nelson at less than 100%.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/2/21

Here are Thursday’s minor moves, with the list being updated throughout the day:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

  • Placed on IR: WR Aaron Parker

Cincinnati Bengals

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

  • Released from IR with injury settlement: LB Asmar Bial

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Released from IR with injury settlement: DT Chris Okoye, OL Tyree St. Louis

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

  • Released from IR with injury settlement: RB Brian Hill

Washington Football Team

  • Released from IR with injury settlement: OT Rick Leonard

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/30/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here. Teams have until 3pm CT Tuesday to pare their rosters down to 53 players.

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

  • Released from IR via injury settlement: LB Darron Lee

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Colts’ Wentz, Nelson To Return To Practice

More good news for the Colts’ foot-injury ward. Both Carson Wentz and Quenton Nelson are set to be back at practice Monday, according to Frank Reich.

While each will be back on the field in a limited capacity, this news bodes well for the prospect of each starting the season on time. This possibility emerged last week, and nothing has taken place to indicate that was an overly optimistic timetable. Pro Bowl center Ryan Kelly will also be back at practice Monday, per Reich. Kelly has been out with an elbow injury.

Both Wentz and Nelson underwent foot surgeries in early August. The Colts initially announced a vague five- to 12-week timetable for Wentz, with the latter outcome thrusting the likes of Jacob Eason and Sam Ehlinger into the spotlight. Indianapolis may soon be off the hook from having to use either as a September spot starter, though Wentz missing extensive training camp time certainly hurts as he prepares to start for a new team.

Nelson, who has never missed a game as a Colt, has emerged as perhaps the NFL’s premier guard. He is 3-for-3 in first-team All-Pro appearances; no other post-merger offensive lineman has accomplished that feat. Nelson will be on track for a record-setting extension come 2022, with the Colts having already taken care of 2018 draftees Darius Leonard and Braden Smith.

The Colts are currently battling issues on their O-line, which has just Smith and Mark Glowinski healthy among the team’s optimal first-string quintet. But with Nelson and Kelly on their way back, Eric Fisher‘s timeline would be the only uncertain matter on the Colts’ offensive front.

Colts Place Jonathan Taylor On Reserve/COVID-19 List

Jonathan Taylor will not play for the Colts on Sunday. The AFC South leaders placed the rookie running back on their reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday.

Taylor is not believed to have submitted a positive coronavirus test, but his girlfriend tested positive after an out-of-town trip, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). Taylor has been in quarantine since Friday. NFL protocols mandate players who come in contact with a COVID-positive person must isolate for five days. Were Taylor to test positive, he would be sidelined at least 10 days.

The Colts will face the Titans without their leading rusher or starting center, having declared Ryan Kelly out with a neck injury. Kelly, who has not missed a start since the 2018 season, did not practice this week.

As for Indianapolis’ backfield, it will rely on holdovers Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins. The third-year backs have been effective at times this season, though none of Indianapolis’ backs is averaging more than four yards per carry. Hines scored twice against the Titans in the teams’ previous meeting. Taylor, however, leads the Colts with 135 carries for 518 yards and four TDs.

Colts, C Ryan Kelly Agree On Extension

Ryan Kelly‘s extension talks progressed to an accepted offer Thursday. The Colts have announced they extended their veteran center.

The former first-round pick signed a four-year, $50MM contract, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Kelly will receive $34MM in guarantees. In terms of per-year salary and guarantees, this contract makes Kelly the NFL’s highest-paid center by a comfortable margin.

Going into what was set to be a contract year, Kelly said at multiple junctures this year he sought a long-term stay in Indianapolis. This represents a key commitment for a Colts team that returns all five of its offensive line starters, forming one of the league’s top fronts. They re-signed left tackle Anthony Castonzo in March, ensuring their entire quintet would be back for the 2020 season.

Kelly’s $12.5MM-per-year average comes in well north of Rodney Hudson‘s previous center high-water mark, topping the market by more than $1MM in average annual value. The guarantees given to the Colts snapper top the previous No. 1 figure by $5.5MM. Kelly, 27, is now signed through the 2024 season.

The Colts drafted Kelly 18th overall out of Alabama in 2016. He made his first Pro Bowl last season, when the Colts placed third in Pro Football Focus’ year-end O-line rankings. Philip Rivers has said the Colts’ O-line played a key role in his decision to sign with Indianapolis. Rivers’ eventual successor will now be set to take snaps from Kelly, who has ranked as a top-10 center — per PFF — in each of the past two seasons.