INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Colts are going through the next phase of their voluntary offseason workout program, and one of their cornerstone defensive players apparently is voluntarily not participating.
Kenny Moore II, one of the NFL’s top nickel cornerbacks, was present but did not participate in Wednesday’s organized team activities (OTAs) portion of the offseason. The issue: Moore feels he’s underpaid compared to other players at his position. IndyStar’s Joel Erickson first reported the situation.
“Obviously you guys know how we feel about Kenny,’’ coach Frank Reich following Wednesday’s practice. “Every player’s got to make his own decision. We love Kenny.’’
Moore’s non-participation wasn’t a surprise. He and his agent had discussed Moore’s displeasure with his contract with general manager Chris Ballard, who relayed that to Reich.
The level of Moore’s discontent might become evident when the Colts hold their mandatory minicamp June 7-9. Players are fined for not participating. Also, might he extend that to training camp?
“I’m not worried,’’ Reich said. “That doesn’t mean I’m not worried it stretches into training camp. I hope whatever needs to get worked out – whether that’s something or nothing (gets resolved).
“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 who’s ready to play.’’
Moore, who earned his first Pro Bowl nod in 2021, signed a four-year, $33 million extension in June 2019 that included $18 million in guarantees. He’s due a base salary of $6.5 million this season and $6.75 million in 2023 with a $500,000 roster bonus, according to overthecap.com.
While the extension made Moore the NFL’s highest-paid nickel corner, his $8.35 million average makes him the league’s 27th highest-paid cornerback. It’s difficult comparing him to the higher paid corners because of Moore’s nickel status.
However, Moore seldom comes off the field. When he doesn’t start a game in the slot, he frequently handles one of the outside spots. Since being claimed off waivers in 2017, he’s appeared in 75 games with 62 starts.
Last year, Moore was on the field for 97% of the defensive snaps. In two of the previous three seasons, he played 92% and 93% of the time.
Moore also has been ultra-productive with 350 tackles, including 289 solos, 14 interceptions and 7 sacks. He’s had 4 sacks in each of the last two seasons.
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.