Listen Live
Cleveland Browns v Indianapolis Colts

Source: Dylan Buell / Getty

INDIANAPOLIS – Michael Pittman Jr. knew the Colts weren’t going to let him truly see what the open market thought of him in free agency.

Hence the franchise tag being put on Pittman Jr., which locked him in for the 2024 season.

But Pittman Jr. also knew what the Colts thought of him, believing that long-term deal was only a matter of when, not if.

“(The franchise tag) wasn’t a bad thing because we knew it was part of the process,” Pittman Jr. shared after inking a 3-year deal, worth up to $71.5 million, with $46 million guaranteed. “We were expecting it and we had talked about it. There was very fluent communication back and forth. That didn’t come out of nowhere.”

Wanting to sign a 3-year deal was a focus for Pittman Jr.

And MPJ is also looking ahead to a possible extension following the 2025 season.

“It’s nice because of how fast the receiver market is accelerating,” Pittman Jr. said of the 3-year deal. “I think it’s nice to have the option after two to maybe re-up (the deal).”

Honestly, seeing Pittman Jr. back with the Colts was of little surprise.

The only real item in question with him remaining in Indianapolis was how it would look, and the Colts answered that with a 3-year deal just before the start of free agency.

Praise for Pittman Jr. has never been something the Colts have hid from.

“Pitt is a fierce competitor, and he cares deeply about winning,” Chris Ballard said in a statement released by the team. “He wants to be a difference maker and he’s going to give you everything he’s got on Sundays to accomplish that. We want the work ethic and attitude Pitt brings in all of our players. He absolutely deserves this deal and I’m thrilled he’s going to remain a Colt.”

“We love everything about Pitt,” Shane Steichen added. “You know what you’re going to get every week – an ultimate competitor, a playmaker and a leader in the locker room. He gives this team the same passion and energy on the practice field and in the meeting rooms on a consistent basis. I’m excited Pitt will continue to play a significant role in our offense and I’m very happy for him and his family.”

Pittman Jr.’s resume four years into his NFL career is a bit complicated.

He has not found the end zone at an elite level (15 touchdowns in 62 career games).

Of course, he’s also had mostly mediocre quarterback play, with constant turnover at the most important position in sports.

Pittman Jr. is bullish though on his role as the team’s top wideout continuing to be there, with more being added to his overall game.

“Obviously, I know that I’m going to get the ball in this offense, which is what every receiver wants,” the 26-year-old says. “Just do what I can to help us win, help us win games, get into the playoffs and see where it goes.

“I think we’re just going to open it up. With AR (Anthony Richardson) coming back, we get a guy we’ve had for two years straight and we’re really going to see what he can do – all of his talent. I’m just looking forward to accenting him and making him the best player that he can be and him making me the best player that I can be.”

Specifically, Pittman Jr. wants to expand his game outside the numbers.

The question on MPJ’s future was never seriously in doubt about him putting on another jersey.

It was more on the how his contract status would play out.

Well, thanks to that 3-year deal, Richardson now knows one of the team’s most consistent skill players is going to be with him for the young QB’s most formative years.

“Obviously it’s great being signed by the team that drafted you,” Pittman Jr. says. “I think that’s every player’s dream, is to stay with the same team their whole time playing. I still have a long time left in my head.

“When I think back, all of my greatest life moments have been here whether it’s getting married, I had both of my kids here, I bought my first house here. I just have a lot of major life moments just tied here. It’s great that I can call this place home.

“Hopefully I can do it again in three years.”

Leave a Reply