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NFL: DEC 16 Steelers at Colts

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INDIANAPOLISIt was the type of bounce back year all parties were wanting to see in 2023.

The Colts needed that from Kenny Moore II.

And now Moore II wants to keep this relationship going.

Both on and off the field, the 2022 season was one to forget for Moore II.

He, admittedly, didn’t handle contract questions with the team like he should have leading into that ’22 campaign.

After playing 12 games last season and lacking the playmaking he’s known for, Moore II saw an uptick in all those areas this past year.

Moore II played in 16 games this past season, recording 3 interceptions (0 last year) and doubled his tackles for loss number (8).

While some had questions about Moore II’s specific fit in Gus Bradley’s defense, Chris Ballard didn’t see too much of a difference in usage for No. 23 in these two years in a new scheme.

“Kenny is a good football player,” Ballard said at the end of the ’23 season. “He played really good football this year. I wouldn’t necessarily say they used him differently, but I thought Kenny played really well.

“I thought he played better.”

From a Pro Bowl season in ’21, to being among the long list of struggles in ’22, Moore II got back to a higher level of play this past year.

Part of that acknowledgment came late in the season, in which the Colts decided to put Moore II’s picture on the side of Lucas Oil Stadium (replacing the departed Shaquille Leonard), joining Quenton Nelson, DeForest Buckner and Jonathan Taylor.

Was that an indication the team is hoping to keep Moore II, 28, around?

One of the biggest reasons for the Colts to bring Moore II back surrounds their overall youth at cornerback, and in the secondary.

But also because, of the few young corners offering some intrigue, none of those guys are viewed as future nickel/slot options, which is where Moore II truly excels.

There’s a reason why Moore II played 1,088 defensive snaps last season, 1 shy of Zaire Franklin for the most of any Colts defender.

“I tell (Moore II) all the time,” Franklin explains, “I don’t know how it works without you.”

Again, that lack of any torch passing candidates in the slot marks one of the strongest reasons for the Colts to keep Moore II around.

Of course, doing that, is probably going to call for an asking price around $10 million annually.

Since the Colts claimed Moore II in 2017, just prior to the start of his first NFL regular season, this has been a feel-good story mutually.

After some rocky moments in ’22, things appear to be back on stable ground.

“I obviously want to be here,” Moore II said at the end of his 7th season with the Colts. “This community has meant so much to me as a person. Indianapolis has been a home away from home.”

Is Moore II one of the definites to return?

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