Colts Pro Bowl corner Kenny Moore II unhappy with contract, not participating in OTAs

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INDIANAPOLIS — Kenny Moore II was on the field at the Colts’ organized team activities on Wednesday, but he is not participating. The Pro Bowl cornerback is unhappy with his contract and feels he is underpaid, given his performance and his importance to the defense, a source familiar with the situation told IndyStar.

Two years remain on the extension Moore signed in June of 2019, a deal worth $33 million in new money over four years and $36,414,760 overall, that made the young star the NFL’s highest-paid nickel cornerback at the time, but his average salary does not currently place him among the top 20 cornerbacks in the NFL.

Moore II is scheduled to make $6.75 million in 2022 and $8.245 million in 2023.

“Everything’s voluntary at this point,” Colts head coach Frank Reich said. “Obviously, you guys know how we feel about Kenny. Every player’s got to make his own decision.”

Indianapolis Colts cornerback Kenny Moore II (23) during pregame at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022.
Indianapolis Colts cornerback Kenny Moore II (23) during pregame at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022.

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Moore II stood on the sidelines during practices, interacting with fellow defensive backs like Stephon Gilmore and coaches.

Organized team activities are the first opportunity for the Colts to get 11-on-11 work in the system new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley is installing.

“I’m glad he’s here,” Reich said. “I know he didn’t get the work today, but I’m thankful he’s here, seeing and hearing everything that’s going on.”

But Moore II’s presence on the field does not change the fact that he believes he deserves a new deal, reflecting the way he’s played since signing his four-year extension.

Moore II, still in his prime at the age of 26, is coming off of his first Pro Bowl appearance, an honor awarded after he made 102 tackles, four interceptions, broke up nine passes, added a sack and played 1,063 defensive snaps for the Colts, or 97.4% of the snaps the Indianapolis defense played. From a coverage standpoint, Moore II allowed 59.8% completions on 82 throws, 5.8 yards per attempt and an 80.1 quarterback rating.

The way Moore has played, especially in the past two seasons, has already increased the value of his deal. The incentives in Moore’s original deal were designed to escalate his base salary, rather than pay a one-time bonus.

Moore II’s 2022 salary was escalated by an extra $500,000 by playing more than 90% of the snaps in 2021, an extra $250,000 for making four interceptions and another $250,000 by making the Pro Bowl.

Under the terms of his deal, Moore II has already earned 2023 escalators of $200,000 apiece for playing more than 90% of the snaps, $100,000 apiece for making four interceptions in 2020 and 2021 and $100,000 for his Pro Bowl nod.

Moore II has not given indication to the Colts if he plans to miss the team’s mandatory minicamp in June, or how long he might stay on the sidelines if he does not receive a new deal.

“I’m not worried, but that doesn’t mean I’m not worried that it stretches into training camp,” Reich said. “I hope whatever needs to get worked out, whether that’s something or nothing. … I’m just all positive energy towards Kenny, because we love him and need him, but we’re going to play with who’s here and ready to go play.”

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Colts CB Kenny Moore unhappy with contract, not participating in OTAs