Key Colts Starter Could Earn ‘Massive Contract’ in 2023: Report

Frank Reich

Getty Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich has a lot of players with something to prove this season.

Like most NFL teams, the Indianapolis Colts have no shortage of players with something to prove this season. Quarterback Matt Ryan seems determined to demonstrate he is still an elite quarterback while edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue is aiming to show he’s worth signing to a second contract.

Even coming off stellar 2021 seasons, running back Jonathan Taylor and wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. have something to prove. They are both out to confirm last year was the beginning of their great careers rather than a fluke.

But none of those four made Pro Football Focus’ list of the players with most to prove in 2022. The list, put together by NFL reporter Doug Kyed of PFF, included one player from each team.

The player Kyed named with the most to prove from the Colts was left tackle Matt Pryor.

“Pryor primarily played right tackle last season but is the favorite to protect quarterback Matt Ryan’s blindside this season within what could be one of the NFL’s best offensive lines — dependent largely on his performance,” Kyed wrote. “It’s a limited sample size, but Pryor has a 75.7 PFF grade at left tackle through 172 career snaps.

“He could be rewarded with a massive contract if 2022 is a fruitful year. A source said he’s been impressing so far in training camp.”

Pryor returned to the Colts on a one-year deal this offseason. Including all incentives, he could make up to $6 million in 2022.

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Pryor Moving to Left Tackle

As Kyed mentioned, almost all of Pryor’s experience along the offensive line is not a left tackle. He played left guard, starting 10 games, for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2020.

Then last year, he mostly played at right tackle. Pryor started five games for the Colts in 2021, including two of the last three contests of the season.

Despite Pryor playing well in limited playing time in 2021, heading into training camp, experts pointed to left tackle as a weakness for Indianapolis. In addition to Pryor, the Colts have rookie Bernard Raimann competing for playing time on Ryan’s blindside.

At the very least, it’s highly unusual for a team expected to compete for a playoff spot to have such little experience at left tackle.

Pryor is performing well in training camp and is the front runner to start.


Pryor Playing for Another Contract

The 27-year-old tackle has about an extra half a million to make this season if he earns all his incentives. That should provide Pryor plenty of motivation, but if he plays well, his big payday will come in March.

Perhaps betting on himself, Pryor signed just a one-year deal to return to Indianapolis this offseason. That means he’ll be a free agent again this winter.

The better he plays this season, the more he will likely be paid on the open market next year. If Pryor plays very well, he could earn a multi-year deal since he turns just 28 in December.

The Eagles selected Pryor in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL draft. He has started 15 games in his career, all since the start of the 2020 season. The Colts acquired him with a seventh-round pick in a trade for a sixth-round choice last August.

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