The Colts signed running back Nyheim Hines to a contract extension on Saturday.
Hines becomes the third member of the Colts' 2018 NFL Draft class to sign a contract extension since the start of training camp, joining right tackle Braden Smith and linebacker Darius Leonard (the Colts also exercised left guard Quenton Nelson's fifth-year option this spring).
The 24-year-old Hines established himself as one of the NFL's most dynamic, versatile playmakers over his first three seasons in Indianapolis. He's one of 34 players in NFL history to have multiple seasons of 300+ rushing yards, 400+ receiving yards and 60+ receptions, having hit those numbers in 2018 and 2020.
Hines is coming off a 2020 season in which he set career highs in:
- Rushing attempts (89)
- Rushing yards (390)
- Yards per rush (4.3)
- Rushing TDs (3)
- Receptions (63-tied with 2018)
- Receiving yards (482)
- Receiving TDs (4)
- Yards from scrimmage (862)
- Yards per touch (5.7)
Hines, too, was graded by Pro Football Focus as the best pass-catching running back in the NFL in 2020; his 76 targets, 63 receptions and 482 receiving yards all ranked third among running backs last season.
Hines also led the NFL with 30 punt returns in 2020 and averaged 10 yards per return; he took two punts to the house in 2019.
But Hines is much more than just a pass-catching running back.
"Every year I've been in the NFL I've heard all the thing, oh, gadget guy, too little to run in between the tackles," Hines said this spring. "So I think last year was a good first step because I hate when people call me a gadget guy.
"I am not a gadget guy. I'm a football player."
And Colts coaches have seen Hines continue to make strides leading up to the 2021 season.
"When the ball is in his hands, he just makes plays," offensive coordinator Marcus Brady said recently. "He's very talented. You can tell the game has slowed down to him so he looks much faster when you're watching him.
"... Just his presence, his feel for the game, his decision making is that much quicker. It's really less than thinking, he's just freaking playing. He just looks that much quicker and faster."