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Colts GM Ballard weighs in on Michael Pittman Jr.’s future in Indianapolis

Chris Ballard answers questions at NFL Combine – News 8 at 11

LATEST: The Indianapolis Colts on March 5, 2024, placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis Colts General Manager Chris Ballard addressed the media on Wednesday afternoon at the NFL Combine.

Ballard spoke about a bunch of different topics, including what the Colts plan to do with wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr.

Pittman is coming off a career year in which he finished with 109 receptions for 1,152 yards. He became the first Colts player since 2012 (Reggie Wayne) to finish a season with 100+ receptions and 1,000+ yards.

Many fans are wondering if he will still be a member of the Colts this upcoming season since he’s set to become a free agent.

Ballard made it very clear that Pittman will still be a Colts player once September arrives.

“Yeah,” Ballard said when asked point-blank if Pittman will be in Indy come the start of the season.

“We’ve had talks with his agent, who is really good,” Ballard said. “His agent has been doing it a long time. He’s really good at what he does. We’ll work hard to get a deal done. It’s (franchise tag) a tool we have. I’m not going to say we’re not going to use it, but I’m not going to say we are. Hopefully, we can come to an agreement and find some compromise on a deal.”

Should the Colts franchise tag Pittman, he would be the first Colts player since Pat McAfee 11 years ago to have the tag placed on him.

“The one thing you never have to worry about with that guy (Pittman), is he empties the tank,” Ballard said. “He absolutely empties the tank.”

Ballard was also asked about the wide receivers in this year’s draft class.

“Yeah, a lot of depth at every level as a matter of fact,” Ballard said. “It’s strong. It’s a really strong class. I don’t know if you see them as strong as this, but I compare it almost like when Pitt (Michael Pittman Jr.) came (in 2020). That year was really good and (Justin) Jefferson and (Brandon) Aiyuk and Pitt in the upper part of the draft. I think CeeDee Lamb was in that draft. It’s comparable.”

The Colts have the 15th overall pick in the NFL Draft.