In the days leading up to their Week 1 opener with the Seattle Seahawks, the Indianapolis Colts have solidified a key piece to their backfield. According to Field Yates of ESPN, the Colts have agreed to a three-year contract extension with running back Nyheim Hines that links him to the organization through the 2024 season. Hines will receive $18.6 million from this extension with $12 million guaranteed. That $6.2 million per year in new money now makes the 24-year-old a top-10 highest-paid back in the NFL. 

Hines -- who was entering the final year of his rookie contract -- originally found his way to Indianapolis as a fourth-round draft choice in the 2018 NFL Draft out of N.C. State. Upon arrival, the 5-foot-9, 196 pounder has proven to be a strong pass-catching back in the Colts offense. On top of that, Hines has also been a durable piece, appearing in every game throughout his first three years in the league. 

Hines enjoyed a career year in 2020 when he totaled 380 yards on the ground on 4.3 yards per carry while catching 63 passes for 482 yards. He also recorded seven total touchdowns. All of those marks were either tied for a career-high or set a new mark for the young back.  

He's entering the 2021 season as the clear third-down back in the Colts offense, which quarterback Carson Wentz is now set to lead. Hines will work in tandem with second-year back Jonathan Taylor, who'll largely handle the early-down work.

Who steps up for the Colts after Carson Wentz's injury? Download the CBS Sports app to follow the 2021 season every step of the way in Indy. If you already have the CBS Sports app, favorite the Colts right now so you get every piece of news and analysis out of Indianapolis.