Indianapolis Colts

Colts re-sign Margus Hunt, keep starting DT off free-agent market

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Defensive tackle Margus Hunt has re-signed with the Indianapolis Colts, keeping him off the free-agent market.

The 6-foot-8, 298-pound lineman started 15 games with Indy last season, primarily at tackle after starting the season as an end. He posted career highs with 30 tackles, 13 for loss, and five sacks. He also forced one fumble and recovered another.

Hunt was originally drafted by Cincinnati in 2013. In four seasons with the Bengals, he recorded 84 tackles and had 7 ½ sacks. He joined the Colts as a free agent in 2017 and played primarily in a backup role.

Indianapolis Colts transcription of DT Margus Hunt

Questions and answers with DT Margus Hunt, provided by the Colts:

Question: I take it that this is what you wanted, right? The chance to stay here where you have had success the past couple years.

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A: “Absolutely.”

Q: Was this a pretty easy choice and if so, why?

A: “Well, it was the locker room that’s here and the guys that Chris (Ballard) and the coaches have brought in and the chemistry we have right now – it’s just something that I didn’t want to change out for anything else. So I was really hoping that this contract would happen sooner rather than later. So it wasn’t really a hard decision to where I was like whether or not we’re going to play the market or not. I knew that if the opportunity arises for me to be back here in this kind of environment with this team and with these guys, it’s a no brainer.”

Q: Are you sort of the perfect example of what you need is just an opportunity to play? You didn’t really get that consistently in Cincinnati.

A: “Somewhat, and the defensive scheme that was brought in here too really fit what I could do and what I could bring to the table. So it was a combination of both the defense that we ran and the opportunity of being able to play a lot more. It really kind of showed. And the desire of trying to help this team and make sure that we were on the correct path.”

Q: Is this as easy as it sounds? I mean you didn’t get close to the open market. Did the Colts make it very clear to you that they didn’t want you to go anywhere?

A: “Well, I mean if that kind of offer comes up before free agency they clearly were trying to keep me here. So the offer that was put in place sounded great and like I said earlier, I didn’t want to leave this kind of a locker room behind, where it’s heading and be part of this great organization and tradition. I just didn’t want to leave that behind and it worked out.”

Q: You mentioned the fit you have here. You can play inside and you can play outside. Can you talk about the value of a player like yourself that is able to move around on the line?

A: “Well, it worked out for the best I think. That was my goal going into OTAs and training camp to make sure that I can be a player that can be put into any kind of situation and thrive in it. Thankfully with this defensive system I was able to do that. With training camp and how it went with injuries here and there, I was put into those kind of tough situations to be able to play inside and outside. I was able to put good stuff on tape. It just so happened to where I was able to get the coaches’ trust for them to be able to put me out there – anywhere – and know that I can do the job that is required.”

Q: If what I read is accurate, what you just signed for is significantly more than what you originally signed for with the Colts. What has this time with the Colts sort of done for your career? This has kind of been the height of your career I would say. Last year was kind of a career year, is that fair to say?

A: “It is, and the opportunity came to really put myself out there and what I can do and what I can bring to the table. It just so happened that either the stars aligned or I don’t know what happened, but I was able to have a great year and hopefully I get to the build on this, keep progressing and even get better.”