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The Indianapolis Colts haven’t kicked off their 2021 season, but Nyheim Hines is already having a good year.
Hines’ agents, Ed Wasielewski and Jeremy Appledorf, told ESPN’s Field Yates on Friday that the fourth-year running back agreed to a three-year extension with $12 million guaranteed and worth up to $18.6 million.
Yates noted Hines’ $6.2 million average annual salary is the highest among all non-lead running backs’.
Hines was entering the final season of his rookie contract, which included a $2.2 million base salary.
The Colts selected Hines in the fourth round of the 2018 draft out of North Carolina State. He finished fourth on the team with 739 yards from scrimmage as a rookie.
After playing a smaller role in the running game two years ago because of Marlon Mack’s success, Hines was terrific in 2020. The 24-year-old was second on the Colts with 862 yards from scrimmage and seven touchdowns.
Hines was also an essential part of the passing game with a team-high 63 receptions. He led the NFL with 30 punt returns and ranked third with 300 punt return yards.
After Jonathan Taylor had a fantastic rookie season with 1,169 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns, Hines’ extension indicates the Colts value him for all the ways he contributes.
With Carson Wentz set to take over at quarterback, look for head coach Frank Reich to scheme plays that target Hines because of his reliable hands out of the backfield and in the slot.