Colts exercise DE Kwity Paye’s fifth-year option

Paye, a 2021 first-round pick, had a career-high 8.5 sacks in 2023.

The Colts exercised the fifth-year option on rookie Kwity Paye’s contract on Thursday, keeping the 2021 first-round pick under contract in Indianapolis through the end of the 2025 season. Paye set career highs in games played (16), sacks (8.5), tackles for loss (52) and forced fumbles (2) in 2023. The 6-foot-3, 265-pound Paye had a sack in each of his first three games last season and recorded his second career multi-sack game in the Colts’ Week 13 overtime win over the Tennessee Titans. did. His Pro Football Focus run defense grade of 78.1 also ranked 11th among starting defensive ends in the 2023 class.

Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley called Paye this week a “reliable” player in the Colts defense. “At the end of the day, (he) does everything right and comes to work every day and knows what he’s going to get. He’s highly respected by all of his teammates and I believe And I think all of our coaches, even this organization. It’s on a different level,” Bradley said. He’s excited about (defensive line coach) Charlie (Partridge) being there and learning new things for him. You might feel like Kwity, like we’re talking about rushers – sometimes it can take a while. As far as I have visited him, I think he is currently in good condition. ”

Paye has 18.5 sacks, 129 tackles, 21 lost tackles, 29 quarterback hits and three forced fumbles in 43 career games (all starts). The Colts selected Paye out of Michigan State with the 21st overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. “Kwity is a very good player,” general manager Chris Ballard said last week. “He had 8.5 sacks last year, plays hard and is a great teammate. I think you know our philosophy. We want to keep as many of our players as possible. We really love Kwiti. ”

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