Jack Doyle will be donning an indianapolis colts next season...and the next two years after that, too. Before the tight end could hit free agency on Thursday, general manager Chris Ballard made it a priority to bring back the receiver. The price tag that came with his return may prove to be a hefty one for the team, though.

The new contract

According to sources, the three-year deal could come to cost as much as $21 million. As a restricted free agent last season, Doyle earned just north of $1.5 million dollar. Annually, the Colts will now be paying him almost four times as much as before. That's the going rate, however, for quarterback Andrew Luck to have targets he can rely on going forward.

Doyle is a local product, having been born in Indianapolis. That alone made him worth re-signing this offseason. It helped that 2016 was a career year for him, though. He recorded 59 receptions, 584 yards and five touchdowns while becoming one of the most reliable targets in Luck's arsenal. Tight end used to be a valued position for the Colts when Peyton Manning was slinging the football. Now, they can look to make that the case again with a budding star in place for the near future.

From undrafted to indispensable

Once upon a time, a career in the NFL seemed like a long shot for Doyle. After a stellar college career at Western Kentucky, he did not get selected in the draft. The Tennessee Titans gave him a chance, but he never played a single snap with them.

The divisional rival Colts decided to give him a better chance and he slowly developed into a starting caliber tight end.

With Doyle locked up, the Colts can focus on retaining or signing other free agents. One free agent they are said to be interested in is former Green Bay Packers pass rusher Nick Perry, who could shore up the team's issues getting after the opposing quarterback.

In the same vein, they may also target former New England Patriots outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard to fulfill the same defensive need for Indianapolis.

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