Ryan Kelly

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.

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South Rumors: Saints, Kelly, Titans, Jaguars

The Saints are currently without one of their starting offensive linemen. That may be the case for a bit. Andrus Peat suffered a broken thumb, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Recently re-signed to a lucrative deal, Peat is set to be out up to three weeks, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com notes. While the sixth-year guard could be ready for Week 1, the Saints have an experienced interior-line swing man ready to fill in. Former Vikings starter Nick Easton is now working in Peat’s place at left guard. Easton replaced an injured Peat as a starter in six games last season.

Here is the latest from the South divisions:

  • Alvin Kamara and the Saints began extension talks last week, but the sides may be far apart on terms. A deal is not particularly close at this juncture, Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.football tweets. Kamara is going into the final year of his third-round rookie contract. The three-time Pro Bowler will make just $2.13MM this season. Kamara joins Dalvin Cook, Aaron Jones and Joe Mixon among 2017 running back draftees in negotiations. This group will battle a few hurdles — short running back primes, the position’s low value, poor returns on a few recent high-end running back deals and a likely 2021 cap reduction — as they attempt to secure long-term deals.
  • Jameis Winston has hired a new agent. The new Saints QB2 has selected Reggie Johnson of Stellar Group to represent him, Greg Auman of The Athletic tweets. Johnson will be Winston’s third agent since 2018. The former Buccaneers starter may be a long-term option for the Saints, but unlike Drew Brees and Taysom Hill, Winston is signed only through 2020. He could also be set to test the market again next year.
  • Ryan Kelly said in May he and the Colts were discussing an extension. With a contract season looming, the Pro Bowl center insists he would like to stay in Indianapolis long-term, Joel Erickson of the Indianapolis Star notes. Given Kelly’s age (27) and importance to a Colts O-line that ranks as one of the NFL’s best, he is in line to become the NFL’s highest-paid center — perhaps by a notable margin. Rodney Hudson‘s second Raiders deal currently resides atop the center list, at $11.25MM per year. This AAV figure sits more than $3MM below the top guard salary and nearly $11MM south of the leading tackle contract.
  • The Titans worked out one of their former linebackers Monday. Will Compton auditioned for the team, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Compton, 30, played 12 games for the 2018 Titans, starting two. He last played for the Raiders, suiting up for nine Oakland contests in 2019.
  • An assault case against Jaguars fullback Bruce Miller has been dismissed, according to Miller’s attorney (via Matt Barrows of The Athletic, on Twitter). Miller, 33, has not played since 2015. After allegedly assaulting a man and his son in 2016 in San Francisco, Miller was charged with aggravated assault and elder abuse.

Colts, Ryan Kelly Discussing Extension

Ryan Kelly‘s camp is discussing an extension with Colts GM Chris Ballard, according to the center (Twitter link via Zak Keefer of The Athletic). As it stands, Kelly has one year left on his rookie deal, via the fifth-year option.

[RELATED: Colts Want To Bring Back Philip Rivers In 2021]

Kelly says that he wants to spend his “entire career in Indianapolis” and Ballard is likely on board with that plan. Last year, Kelly started in all 16 of the Colts’ regular season games and anchored one of the league’s best offensive lines. He earned his first ever Pro Bowl nod for that campaign and he’ll likely score a major contract to match.

For now, Kelly is slated to earn $10.35MM in 2020, up from about $3.3MM last year. A new pact would likely put him in the range of $10MM-$12MM, positioning him as one of the NFL’s highest-paid centers.

Connor McGovern scored the largest deal of any free agent center this year when he joined the Jets on a three-year, $27MM deal. Kelly will aim higher. Recent extensions for Bucs centers Ryan Jensen (four years, $42MM) and Bills center Mitch Morse (four years, $44.5MM) figure to be his comps. With a $10MM+ AAV, Kelly would join Jensen, Morse, Rodney Hudson, Maurkice Pouncey, Nick Martin, J.C. Tretter, Brandon Linder, and Cody Whitehair in the eight-figure centers club.

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Colts’ Ryan Kelly Eyeing Extension

As he enters the fifth and final season of his rookie deal, center Ryan Kelly is eyeing a new deal that will keep him with the Colts for the long run, as Jim Ayello of the Indianapolis Star writes. 

Hopefully they value what I do,” Kelly said. “If not, then I understand. But I love it here. I want to stay here. This is my home. I got a house here because I love the city. The guys in the room, I love what we’ve developed on this team. It’s certainly a lot different than it was when I first walked in the door Day 1. Time will tell. But right now, yeah, this is definitely where I want to be.”

Kelly earned $3.325MM this year and he’ll see a bump to $10.35MM under the fifth-year option in 2020. A new deal might only give the Colts a slight bit of cap relief – he’s likely looking at an average annual salary of $9-$12MM, putting him in line with the upper crust of NFL centers.

Recent extensions for Bucs centers Ryan Jensen and Bills center Mitch Morse figure to be comps for Kelly, a former first-round pick. Jensen inked a four-year, $42MM deal with Tampa Bay prior to the 2018 season with $22MM guaranteed. Morse, meanwhile, landed a four-year, $44.5MM deal with Buffalo in March, making him the league’s highest-paid center in terms of overall dollars. That deal included $26.175MM in practically guaranteed dollars – the fourth-highest at the position.

Thanks in large part to Kelly, the Colts boast one of the league’s top offensive lines in the NFL. They won’t qualify for the playoffs this year, but a new long-term deal with Kelly could position them well for 2021 and beyond.

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Colts To Pick Up Ryan Kelly’s Fifth-Year Option

The 2019 draft is officially in the rearview mirror. Coaches and front office heads are holding post-draft press conferences, and some news is beginning to trickle out of them.

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.

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South Rumors: Pees, Kelly, Saints, Falcons

New Titans defensive coordinator Dean Pees had to be hospitalized during Sunday’s game against the Colts because of a medical issue. But the 69-year-old assistant is back healthy and working with the the Titans, Mike Vrabel said Wednesday. Pees was coaching on the Titans’ practice field during their first Week 12 workout, per Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com. The veteran DC stayed at an Indianapolis hospital overnight but returned to Nashville, Tenn., on Monday. He’s expected to make the trip to Houston for the Titans-Texans’ Monday night game.

Here’s the latest from some other South teams on Thanksgiving Eve.

  • The anchor of an improved Colts offensive line will not be available Sunday against the Dolphins. Ryan Kelly has an MCL sprain and will miss Indianapolis’ Week 12 contest. The third-year center feared a much worse injury occurred in Sunday’s win over the Titans. “I was worried about the ACL, but that’s intact. It’s reassuring,” Kelly said, via CBS4’s Mike Chappell. Kelly said he underwent knee surgery in high school and is receiving a second opinion, per Chappell. This malady does not require a corrective procedure, and it’s possible Kelly may be back soon. An addition off the Rams’ practice squad, Evan Boehm will start in Kelly’s place.
  • Signed to essentially take Dez Bryant‘s place on the Saints‘ roster, Brandon Marshall signed for the 13th-year veteran’s minimum, Nick Underhill of The Advocate tweets. He signed for $1.02MM and will count $259K toward New Orleans’ cap. Bryant signed for slightly more than the veteran minimum — $1.25MM — with incentives tied to his deal. It’s not known if Marshall has incentives attached to his pact. He’s yet to suit up for the Saints.
  • The Falcons activated Deion Jones last week but did not deploy him against the Cowboys. The acclaimed Atlanta middle linebacker will also miss the Falcons’ Thanksgiving game in New Orleans, being declared out in advance of the NFC South rivalry matchup. Jones suffered a foot injury in Week 1 and spent two months on IR. He’s on Atlanta’s active roster now, and it’s possible the Falcons are giving him an extra 10 days to prepare for a Week 13 return. However, at 4-6, the Falcons can ill-afford any more losses if they want to preserve their fleeting playoff hopes.

Colts Cut Austin Howard, Reach 53-Man Roster

The Colts are at the 53-man roster max after making a bundle of transactions, including the release of offensive tackle Austin Howard.

[RELATED: Colts Cut John Simon]

The Colts invested $1.3MM guaranteed in Howard, but he was medically cleared until late July and struggled in camp and during the preseason. The Colts dangled him in trade talks this week, but there were no takers for him.

Despite his issues this summer, Howard had a solid 2017 with the Ravens and graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 36 offensive tackle. If healthy, he could draw interest from other teams.

The Colts also placed defensive end Chris McCain, linebacker Jeremiah George, defensive end Anthony Johnson, and tight end Ross Travis on injured reserve.

Here’s a look at the rest of the Colts’ moves:

Waived:

Last year, Bond ascended to the starting center job when Ryan Kelly broke his foot late in training camp. Unfortunately, a torn quad landed him on IR in October. This year, he’ll be looking for work elsewhere.

Alie-Cox was a former basketball player looking to transition to tight end. Although Antonio Gates and others have successfully made the jump, Alie-Cox has yet to find similar success.

In addition to the aforementioned moves, the Colts also waived the following players with an injury designation. If they clear waivers, then they revert to the Colts’ Injured Reserve list:

Colts Place C Ryan Kelly, LB Jon Bostic On IR

The Colts have placed two starters on injured reserve. Linebacker Jon Bostic and center Ryan Kelly will both be shut down in advance of Saturday’s penultimate game against the Ravens. In a related move, the team has signed free agent defensive tackle Caraun ReidRyan Kelly (Vertical)

Kelly has played only seven games this season thanks to injuries. The center missed the start of the year due to foot surgery. Unfortunately, a concussion in Week 12 has kept him out of action for the last three games. It’s hardly the encore that the No. 18 overall pick in the 2016 draft was hoping for.

Bostic spent all of 2016 on IR but managed to start in 14 games in 2017. His season ends with a career-high 97 tackles along with one sack, one fumble recovery, and three passes defended. He also graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 40 linebacker in the NFL, a career best. He’s eligible for free agency this offseason but it seems likely that the Colts will discuss an extension with him before he can reach the open market.

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Colts C Deyshawn Bond Suffers Torn Quad

Colts center Deyshawn Bond, who left Sunday night’s game on the second play, has suffered a torn quad, according to a source who spoke with ESPN.com’s Mike Wells (Twitter link). It’s too early to have an exact timetable on Bond’s return, but a torn quad will likely rule him out for the season. Deyshawn Bond (vertical)

[RELATED: Colts Make Practice Squad Moves]

Bond ascended to the starting center job when Ryan Kelly broke his foot late in training camp. His injury is unfortunate, but the good news is that Kelly started practicing last week and the team is hoping that he’ll be back in action before long. With some luck, he may be able to go next Sunday against the 49ers.

I mean, the last time that I actually really got down in a stance like that and hit somebody was against Detroit, so it’s been seven, eight weeks or so. But I think it’s kind of like riding a bicycle, so once you’re a couple practices in or so you start getting used to it,” Kelly recently said of his recovery (link via team website). “But I think just conditioning-wise and getting back into football shape, it’s amazing how fast you can get out of it. So that will certainly come with time. But (I’m) working every day just to stay in shape and get stronger, so looking forward to it.”

In three games this year (excluding this Week 4 contest against Seattle), Bond was on the field for 104 passing snaps and 85 run snaps, per Pro Football Focus’ data. He earned a poor 42.2 score from PFF in that limited sample, but Kelly liked what he saw from his understudy.

He’s played really well — a real strong guy,” said Kelly. “It’s awesome we got him out of (college) free agency, and to see how hard he’s worked every single day to come in and prepare, and he’s been a real pro. Every day he’s gotten better, and it’s awesome to see.”

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Colts C Ryan Kelly To Have Foot Surgery

Some injuries can be healed with Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Unfortunately, the R.I.C.E method did not work for Colts center Ryan Kelly. His broken foot will require surgery, coach Chuck Pagano told reporters on Thursday morning.

Kelly will likely be sidelined for 6-8 weeks, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears. Given that timeframe, he’ll likely be placed on injured reserve and designated for return midseason, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets."<strong

[RELATED: Colts Interested In Jeremy Zuttah]

Kelly was selected with the No. 18 overall pick in last year’s draft and went on to start in every game for the Colts last year. This season, he was being counted on to reprise that role.

The injury could motivate the Colts to turn to the free agent market. The Colts have been in talks with Jeremy Zuttah and they were working to line up a visit for this week. If Zuttah opts to return to Baltimore instead, the Colts could also consider free agent options like former Pro Bowler Nick Mangold.

For now, undrafted free agent addition Deyshawn Bond profiles as the team’s likely starter in Kelly’s absence. Adam Redmond, a 2016 UDFA, could also push for the job.

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