Colts make Kenny Moore II NFL's highest-paid nickel cornerback with $30 million deal, AP sources say

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indianapolis Colts continued their spending spree Tuesday by agreeing to re-sign cornerback Kenny Moore II on a three-year deal worth $30 million, a person with knowledge of the deal told the Associated Press.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because no official announcement has been made.

Over the past two days, Colts general manager Chris Ballard has agreed to three-year deals with four starters — receiver Michael Pittman Jr., defensive tackle Grover Stewart, linebacker Zaire Franklin and now Moore — totaling more than $140 million.

Franklin and Moore traded short, congratulatory notes on social media.

“I couldn’t put any more flowers on Kenny’s desk if I wanted to,” Franklin said when last season ended. “Just his leadership for me, a guy that I follow in this building. To be honest, I tell him all the time, I don’t know how it works without him to be honest.”

Apparently, Ballard felt such a strong similar sentiment that he made Moore the NFL’s highest-paid nickel cornerback.

And the deal comes just two years after Moore wanted to renegotiate the final two years of his previous deal.

The dissatisfaction led to a sub-par 2022 season, but Moore came to last summer’s training camp with a new attitude and responded with a bounce-back season. He finished with 93 tackles, returned two of his three interceptions for scores, had six passes defensed and 1 1/2 sacks.

It was enough to warrant the pay raise Moore and others thought was warranted.

“I thought Kenny Moore II was a really good vet player, had a good year and we would like to have him back,” Ballard said at the recent NFL scouting combine. “We’ll see how it works out in free agency.”

Last season, Moore was a key veteran presence in what was one of the league’s youngest secondaries. His return should only help those second-year players continue to grow.

Plus, Moore’s journey to and through the NFL provides a path for others to follow.

He entered the league as an undrafted rookie with New England in 2017. But the Colts claimed the versatile Valdosta State defensive back off waivers in 2017, and he’s become a fixture in Indy’s defense.

Moore has started 84 games over the past six seasons and was a 2021 Pro Bowl selection. He has 516 tackles, 17 interceptions, 9 1/2 sacks while forcing four fumbles during his career.