Colts placing a franchise tag on Michael Pittman Jr. is a first in franchise history since Pat McAfee in 2013

The Colts haven't used a franchise tag on a player in more than a decade before this year.


Colts placing a franchise tag on Michael Pittman Jr. is a first in franchise history since Pat McAfee in 2013

Michael Pittman Jr and Pat McAfee (Via Imago/ X)

The Indianapolis Colts have used a non-exclusive franchise tag on their wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. This is the first time they have used the tag since 2013, when they used it on punter Pat McAfee. With this non-exclusive tag, Pittman will stay in the squad for the 2024-25 season.

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According to sources, if the team doesn’t provide a contract extension to the player, he will earn $21.82 million. The tag will also help the QB to engage in potential contract talks with other teams during free agency.

The Colts WR had a remarkable campaign in 2023. He registered 109 receptions and covered 1,152 receiving yards. In addition, the WR also caught for touchdown passes. In his four years with the team, he caught 336 passes for 3,662 receiving yards and 15 TDs.

Following his solid campaigns, the Colts have decided to keep the wideout tied to their team. This move will give them some time to work out a contract extension.

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The non-franchise tag allows the player to negotiate with other teams too. However, the original team holds the right to match the offers of other teams. Hence, the Colts will have an upper hand in signing the WR. Since the offseason is long a lot of things can take place. All eyes will be on Pittman, and it is to be seen whether the WR negotiates terms with other teams.

HC Shane Steichen spoke highly of Michael Pittman Jr.

The Colts placed the franchise tag on Michael Pittman Jr. just hours ahead of the trade deadline. General manager Chris Ballard thought highly of him as he wanted to re-sign the player in the squad. Besides, he was not the only one to speak highly of the talented wideout. Head coach Shane Steichen also had huge praises for the wide receiver during his recent interview with Fox News.

, Michael Pittman Jr.
Indianapolis Colts WR Michael Pittman Jr. (Via Imago)
When you have a reliable player like Pitt that is going to show up every Sunday and make plays like he does, it definitely helps a young quarterback. To keep getting that chemistry with those two guys, building, will be huge for (quarterback) Anthony (Richardson’s) growth.
Shane Steichen said during Tuesday’s interview with Fox

The team certainly wants to keep the player in the squad. Now, it is time for Pittman to express his interest. If both parties can’t agree on a long-term deal, Pittman could either play on the tag or sit out the season without pay.

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