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Colts' Ballard: Pittman will be on roster come Week 1

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Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. will be on the team's roster one way or another when next season starts, general manager Chris Ballard said Wednesday, according to Joel Erickson of the Indy Star.

Pittman and the club are engaged in long-term extension talks, but the Colts can use the franchise tag if the sides can't agree to a deal, per the Indy Star's Nate Atkins. The wide receiver franchise tag is approximately $21.8 million for 2024 and the deadline to use it is March 5.

The 26-year-old wideout is slated to hit free agency in March when his rookie contract expires.

Pittman set career highs in receptions (109) and yardage (1,152) in 2023 despite quarterback Anthony Richardson missing the majority of the campaign. He also caught four touchdowns.

The former second-round pick has totaled 336 receptions, 3,662 yards, and 15 scores in 62 career games. He posted at least 500 yards in each of his first four NFL seasons and led the Colts in receiving yards each of the last three seasons.

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