There was plenty for Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard to talk about during his press conference to open training camp. But a couple topics stuck out more than most.
Ballard always says he’s not one to talk about contract negotiations in public. He honored that goal while speaking to reporters about Kenny Moore II on July 26.
But Ballard spoke generally about the ongoing contract situation, essentially saying he expects players to be on the field and put aside contracts when the season begins.
“First, I’m not going to talk about contract stuff here,” Ballard said. “I’m just not going to do that in public.
“I mean look, I think everybody wants more, damn right. It’s OK, but then there comes a time you have to play. Now it’s time to play.”
Ballard also didn’t hesitate when asked about the position battles that stand out to him. His answer may not be what a lot of fans expect.
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‘Time to Play’
Ballard was asked on July 26 if he expects Moore to be practicing when the Colts officially hit the field to begin training camp. He kept his answer short, saying, “Yes.”
Not that Moore has stopped fighting for a new deal, but he seems to share Ballard’s sentiment that it’s time to focus on the upcoming season.
“I think it (the potential new contract) was the same thing as I left it in the spring you know I’m just going to let them take care of that,” Moore said to reporters. “I’m ready to play football with these teammates and this new coaching staff. Let’s go.”
Moore has been in the discussion as one of the league’s top slot cornerbacks this offseason, yet his current contract yields $8.3 million as his average annual salary. That average yearly contract value has Moore ranked 27th among all cornerbacks in 2022 according to Spotrac.
Moore has been a vital part of the Colts defense since the team acquired him on the waiver wire in 2017. He’s played at least 92% of Indianapolis’ snaps on defense over the last four years.
In 2021, he recorded 102 combined tackles, including 6 tackles for loss, 4 interceptions and 13 pass defenses. He also made his first Pro Bowl.
Colts Position Battles in Training Camp
But when asked about the position battles that stand out to him, Ballard first said left tackle.
“We thought (Matt) Pryor did some really good things last year and anxious to see him and Bernhard (Raimann) compete,” said Ballard.
Ballard mentioned other position battles that are notable for him, but none of them were wide receiver. In addition to left tackle, the general manager discussed the depth of the defensive line and young safeties Julian Blackmon and Nick Cross as areas of the Colts roster to watch in training camp.