It turns out the Indianapolis Colts do want Marlon Mack for the long haul after all.
When owner Jim Irsay met with reporters earlier this year, Irsay reported the team was not interested in signing Mack to an extension right now.
Instead, Irsay reneged on those comments by saying the team will pursue a contract extension but just not right now.
“Marlon Mack, we love him. . . . We want him back, and he wants to be back, really,” Irsay said, via the Indianapolis Star. “There were some misreports that we were pursuing an extension there. That’s not the case.”
“Taking Care Of Our Own”
According to Jim Ayello of the Indianapolis Star, the Colts have been interested in exploring options for Mack since the first week of February.
When GM Chris Ballard was discussing the Colts’ off-season plan, Ballard talked about Mack being one of the players the team wants to “take care of.”
“Part of our offseason evaluation [is] — we know, we’re going to try to take care of our own — so who are guys that we want to extend?” General Manager Chris Ballard said after the season, mentioning center Ryan Kelly and Mack. “Marlon, look, he easily could have missed more games [with a broken hand], but he didn’t. He fought to get back in because he wanted to play.”
The Case For Keeping Mack
Mack is entering the final year of his contract.
Out of the three running backs, Mack has been the most consistent.
In 2018, Mack rushed for 908 yards and nine touchdowns and followed that up with 1,091 yards rushing and eight touchdowns in 2019.
At 23-years old, Mack has plenty of productive years ahead of him.
Most Rush TDs since 2017
Todd Gurley – 42
Derrick Henry – 33
Mark Ingram – 28
Aaron Jones – 28
Alvin Kamara – 27
Melvin Gordon – 26
Ezekiel Elliott – 25
Jordan Howard – 24
Christian McCaffrey – 24
Marlon Mack – 20
Carlos Hyde – 19
Latavius Murray – 19
— NFL Stats (@NFL_Stats) February 19, 2020
The Colts should absolutely keep Mack.
Since being drafted as a fourth-round pick out of South Florida in 2017, Mack has been the most productive running back since 2018.
He’s making just over $2.2 million this season, which is considerably low for the numbers he is producing.
It does not make sense why Irsay would refute the possibility of keeping Mack for the long haul.
Nyheim Hines, who is also 23, rushed for just 199 yards but caught 44 passes for 320 yards.
Mack is the perfect complement for Hines as he is a ground and pound runner.
Not to mention, when he has space, he can do some damage on the field.
Think about it, the Colts have not had a running back like Mack in nearly a decade.
The last Colts running back to do serious damage on the field was Joseph Addai.
Addai ranks seventh in franchise history with 4,443 yards from 2006 to 2011.
Mack is already 16th on that list and hasn’t even hit his prime.
This is an easy decision.
Irsay is likely deferring because he wants to see what Mack does in the final year of his contract.
It’s not the worst idea in the world but it could pose as a distraction for their starting running back.
It could call for a meeting between the two if feelings are hurt.
Either way, if the Colts have a franchise running back and need to take care of him before somebody else does.