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INDIANAPOLISThe Michael Pittman contract extension debate—both if/when—is a fascinating one when you consider the position he plays, and the team he plays for.

Pittman is heading into the final year of his rookie contract.

Based off his NFL performance so far, Pittman could be in-line for a contract extension this offseason, something Chris Ballard has done for several of his own draft picks, as those players head into their 4th season.

And Ballard is a big fan of Pittman, even if the GM doesn’t want to get into the debate of the “No. 1 wideout” definition.

“We’ve all had this talk before,” Ballard says. “What’s a 1? What’s a real 1? A guy that every time he touches the ball, you’re scared to death that he’s going to go score? There are very few of those.

“Is (Pittman) a really good freaking player? Is he a really good freaking player? Damn right he is, and he’s passionate and he’s tough and he competes his ass off and he wears it and I love that about him. I love that he wears his emotions on his sleeve. I love that he cares deeply about winning. Pittman’s a really good football player and we’re lucky to have him on our team.”

From a receiving yards standpoint, Pittman ranks in the top-25 of NFL receivers over the last two years. And that’s with some very mediocre quarterback play.

His touchdown numbers (11 in 46 career games) are low though.

But there’s little denying Pittman has proven to be a consistent and durable receiving option despite the quarterback issues around him.

Pittman, who the Colts took 34th overall in 2020, doesn’t sound like someone too caught up in any contract drama though.

”That happens naturally with performance,” Pittman said of his contract extension last month. “If it doesn’t happen, that’s no big deal. It’ll happen eventually. I just leave it to my agent.”

Wide receivers have been paid very handsomely here in recent years.

And Pittman is going to have some leverage, if the Colts choose not to extend him, and let him hit free agency in March, then a huge question is there.

Honestly, that question might (should?) still be here, even if Pittman is brought back.

Just look at the top teams around the NFL, if you lack a dynamic pass catching group there’s a good chance you’re not competing deep into the postseason.

It’s almost as if the Colts have to bring Pittman back, and they certainly sound willing to do so.

Is Pittman a Pro Bowler-caliber wideout?

No. Certainly, not right now.

But has he offered top-20-ish wideout production, amidst sketchy QB play, which can’t be ignored when making sure Anthony Richardson has enough around him?


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