The Indianapolis Colts spent the night before their season-opener locking down one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL.
Colts All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson has agreed to a four-year, $80 million extension with $60 million in guaranteed money, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The deal will make Nelson the highest-paid guard in NFL history.
Nelson will reportedly sign the deal Saturday night, then get back to preparing for the Houston Texans.
Colts’ Pro-Bowl OL Quenton Nelson reached agreement on a precedent-setting, four-year extension averaging $20 million per year, including $60 million guaranteed, making him the highest-paid guard in NFL history, per source. Colts finished the deal tonight with RJ Gonser of CAA. pic.twitter.com/uiqjnM3sSo
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 11, 2022
Giving $20 million annually to a guard would have been unthinkable even five years ago, but Nelson has done nothing but show he can be worthy of it so far in his career.
Clearly the best offensive guard prospect in the 2018 NFL draft class (and arguably the best prospect overall), the former Notre Dame All-American was selected sixth overall by the Colts. In the four years since, Nelson has made four Pro Bowls and been selected to four All-Pro teams, three first teams and one second team.
That second-team selection was in spite of Nelson missing three games last season with a high-ankle sprain and another on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Many big-time contracts for players as young as the 26-year-old Nelson come with the hope their games will continue to grow, but the Colts don't even need that from Nelson. They just need him to continue to be the highly athletic ball of violence he's been throughout his career.