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INDIANAPOLIS – When the Colts put Kenny Moore II’s picture on the side of Lucas Oil Stadium late last season, many wondered if that meant No. 23 would be staying here long-term.

If you ask Moore II though, this marriage continuing for another 3 years was at a coin flip when free agency began.

Eventually though, the Colts made sure their “lightning in a bottle” would be going nowhere, inking Moore II to a lucrative 3-year contract for $30 million.

“Kenny is a special player and has earned everything he’s worked for,” Chris Ballard said in a team statement after Moore II re-signed with the Colts. “He has always embraced the underdog role and has played the game with a chip on his shoulder. Kenny is a smart and savvy veteran who is vital to the continued growth of our young secondary. I’m proud of him and the player he has become.”

Unlike many of the Colts relationships with their top players, the one with Moore II got a bit public back in the 20222 offseason.

Moore II wanted a pay increase on his contract coming off a Pro Bowl season. The Colts didn’t budge though. What followed was a disappointing 2022 campaign, both for the team, and for the veteran cornerback.

With that, brought immense scrutiny on how Moore II responded this past season.

And the response was a necessary bounce back from Moore II, as the Colts desperately needed his consistency and leadership in a cornerback room filled with neither of those things.

While the Colts decided to place Moore II on the side of Lucas Oil late in the season (following the cut of Shaquille Leonard), there was still some questions on whether this run would extend past 2023.

“I guess it was just 50-50,” Moore II said of the thought on departing the Colts at the start of free agency. “You don’t really know how the business side of things play out.

“Coming into the 2023 season, I just had the mentality and mindset – my resume is going to be everything I make it on the field and then from there, I have no control. I just did all I could to represent as best as possible and we made it work.”

One of the reasons Moore II is returning to the Colts comes from no other real in-house option to take over those slot duties.

Plus, the Colts have always been big fans of how Moore II, a former undrafted free agent out of Valdosta State, has carried himself.

“Kenny’s preparation, work ethic and communication are vital to the backend of our defense,” Shane Steichen said in a team release. “I appreciate his tenacity and the scrappiness in which he plays the game. As a team captain, Kenny has the upmost respect of our entire team and we value his leadership.”

With how the current cornerback makeup looks, the Colts are once again going to be leaning heavily on Moore II’s leadership.

On the individual goal list for the 27-year-old Moore II remains getting to the level he earned in 2021.

“I would love to go back and be a Pro Bowl player, be a Pro Bowl corner, All-Pro,” Moore II says. “Everything that every single player in this league wants to be. That’s why I like the defensive back position, that’s why I like the AFC because we have the best guys at my position to want to be the best at.

“I’m working each day to be that person and to be that person for the Colts.”

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