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Colts exercise DE Kwity Paye's fifth-year option

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


The Colts on Thursday exercised the fifth-year option on defensive end Kwity Paye's rookie contract, which keeps the 2021 first-round pick under contract in Indianapolis through the 2025 season.

Paye in 2023 set career highs in games played (16), sacks (8.5), tackles (52) and forced fumbles (two). 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. His 78.1 Pro Football Focus run defense grade ranked 11th in 2023 among started defensive ends, too.

Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley this week described Paye as a player "that you trust" within the Colts' defense.

"On the edge, (he) does things right, comes to work every day, you know what you're going to get, highly respected by all of his teammates and I believe, and I think all of our coaches and even this organization – there is another level for him," Bradley said. "In this short period of time, you can see that in his mind too. He's excited about (defensive line coach) Charlie (Partridge) in there and learning some different things right there for him. You can just feel like Kwity, like we said with rushers – sometimes it can take some time. We think he's in a good space right now just in my visits with him."

Over 43 career games, all of which he's started, Paye had 18.5 sacks, 129 tackles, 21 tackles for a loss, 29 quarterback hits and three forced fumbles. The Colts selected Paye out of Michigan with the No. 21 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

"Kwity is a really good football player," general manager Chris Ballard said last week. "He had 8.5 sacks last year, plays the crap out of the run, he's a great teammate. I think you know our philosophy; we want to keep as many of our own guys as we can. We like Kwity a lot."

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