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Colts and Quenton Nelson agree to record-setting contact extension

Quenton Nelson against the Las Vegas Raiders at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 2, 2022. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Former No. 6 overall draft pick Quenton Nelson just received a historic pay bump, keeping the four-time all-pro left guard in Indianapolis for the foreseeable future.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Nelson and the club have agreed to a four-year contract extension averaging $20M per season which makes the 26-year-old the highest paid guard in NFL history. The deal includes $60M in guaranteed money per Schefter.

Previously, Jacksonville’s Brandon Schreff held the top spot with a salary paying out an average of $16M per season.

Nelson, the first Colts player to earn Pro Bowl honors in each of his first four seasons in over 60 years (Alan Ameche ’55-’58), has allowed just four sacks in 2,365 pass-blocking attempts over four NFL seasons according to Pro Football Focus.

Since Nelson arrived in Indianapolis in 2018, the Colts’ offensive line is tied for first in fewest sacks allowed across the NFL. Since 1970, only four other NFL players have earned First-Team All-Pro honors in each of their first three seasons.

With Nelson’s deal done, Colts General Manager Chris Ballard’s massive investment in the team’s projected starting offensive line breaks down like this (per spotrac):

LT: Matt Pryor: 1 YR/ $5.545M

LG Quenton Nelson: 4 YR/ $80M ($60M guaranteed) 

C Ryan Kelly: 4 YR / $50M ($30M guaranteed)

RG Danny Pinter 4YR / $3.643M

RT: Braden Smith 4YR/ $70M ($42M guaranteed)

Together this unit aims to retain its place atop the top offensive lines in football following all-pro running back Jonathan Taylor’s franchise record-setting 2021 regular season.