Colts’ 8-Sack Edge Rusher Named Team’s Most ‘Underpaid’ Player

Getty Indianapolis Colts edge rusher Kwity Paye.

The Indianapolis Colts have their fair share of players whose production outweighs what they are being paid. Take for example edge rusher Kwity Paye, who Bleacher Report’s Brad Gagnon believes is Indy’s most underpaid player.

“The 2021 first-round pick is coming off an 8.5-sack season in which he cost the Colts just $3.7 million. That’ll increase to a mere $4.3 million in 2024,” Gagnon wrote on April 12.

Paye, 25, was a first-round pick — 21st overall — of the Colts in 2021. During the 2023 season, he had a career-high 8.5 sacks along with 8 tackles for loss and 2 forced fumbles in a career-high 16 regular season games played, according to Pro Football Reference. That’s great production from a player who ranks 36th among NFL edge rushers in guaranteed contract money ($13.4 million), per Over The Cap.

Kwity Paye Controls His NFL Destiny in 2024

If Paye has similar or better production in 2024 compared to his 2023 efforts, then the Colts will have a tough decision to make in 2025.

Indy could pick up Paye’s fifth-year option, which would cost the Colts $13.3 million against the cap in 2025, per Spotrac. The team has until May 2 to pick up his option.

The avenue also exists for Indy to franchise tag Paye in 2025, though it would be a high price to pay for a potential one-year rental if the two sides can’t agree to a multi-year deal (the 2024 franchise tag number for DEs was $21.3 million).

But if Paye takes a step back next season, there’s a stronger chance he could return to the Colts or take a smaller, short-term deal with another team in hopes of raising his stock in 2025.

As of now, Paye — who registered 28 total stops for the second consecutive season in 2023 according to PFF — has proven to be a reliable edge rusher that can be effective on passing and running downs for Indy.

Colts Would ‘Run the Card in” for TE Brock Bowers: Rumor

Kelsey Kramer of A to Z Sports reported on April 8 that Indy is trying to trade up in the 2024 NFL Draft to select Georgia tight end Brock Bowers.

On April 11, ESPN’s Matt Miller revealed that one source from “a rival team” believed the Colts would “run the card in” if Bowers was available at pick 15.

Standing at 6-foot-3 and weighing 240 pounds, Bowers finished his career at Georgia with 175 receptions, 2,538 receiving yards, and 31 total touchdowns (26 receiving, 5 rushing) in 35 games played, according to Sports Reference.

As a two-time National Champion and two-time AP All-American, Bowers (2022) was the first TE to lead a national championship team in receiving yards since 1985.

Bowers is an elite prospect at the TE position. As a player who can be a rare immediate contributor in the passing game as a rookie, he makes sense for Indy, who is looking to add more talent around second-year quarterback Anthony Richardson via the draft.

The 2024 NFL Draft will take place from April 25 to April 27  in Detroit, Michigan. The three-day event will be available to watch on ESPN, ABC, and NFL Network.

The Colts have one draft pick in each round of this year’s draft: No. 15, No. 46, No. 82, No. 117, No. 151, No. 191, and No. 124.

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