The Indianapolis Colts are looking to keep pace in a suddenly competitive AFC South division with the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars in the upcoming 2024 campaign. While they haven't made explosive moves like their competitors have in free agency, they have managed to keep some of their star players in town, and they managed to do so again on Monday morning when they agreed to a new two-year, $46 million extension with star defensive lineman DeForest Buckner.

After turning himself into a superstar over the first four seasons of his career with the San Francisco 49ers, Buckner has continued to play at a consistently high level in his four seasons with the Colts. Buckner was a first-team All-Pro in 2020, and he also earned Pro Bowl selections in 2021 and 2023, a testament to his strong play against both the run and the pass on the interior d-line for Indy.

Buckner was his typically-productive self in 2023 (81 tackles, eight sacks, 7 PD, 2 FF, 1 FR, 1 TD, 11 TFL, 21 QB Hits) as he continues to be the leader Indianapolis can rely on to lead their defensive line. Now, they will hope to continue to receive that sort of production through the 2026 campaign, as this deal will tack onto the final year of his four-year, $84 million deal he landed from the Colts back in 2020 right after they traded for him from the Niners.

DeForest Buckner the latest Colts player to land new extension

Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle DeForest Buckner (99) warms up before facing the Carolina Panthers.

While both the Texans and Jaguars have gone out and made some splashy moves this offseason, the Colts have largely focused on keeping their own talented players in town. Buckner's extension is just the latest example of that, and it's clear that the front office feels strongly about the players that they already have on their roster around second-year quarterback Anthony Richardson.

Aside from Buckner, the other biggest name that the Colts have re-signed is star wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr., who landed a three-year, $70 million deal right before the start of free agency. It's one thing to go out and sign big name free agents, but it's just as important to keep players who are familiar with the team and their schemes in town if they perform at a high level.

Beyond these two studs, Indy has handed out new deals to Kenny Moore (3 years, $30 million), Grover Stewart (three years, $39 million), and Zaire Franklin (three years, $31.26 million). With these extensions, the Colts have managed to lock up key pieces of their team on both sides of the ball at reasonable prices for the foreseeable future.

Despite all this, it's clear Indianapolis needs to find a way to add more top-end talent to their squad, and obviously, they need to see whether or not Richardson can become their quarterback of the future. The foundation of the team's roster is in place, so now it will be interesting to see how they attack the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft in an effort to build upon the talented players they have worked so hard to keep in town so far this offseason.