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Indianapolis Colts sign Quenton Nelson to $80 million contract extension, highest-paid guard in NFL history

Matt Johnson
Quenton Nelson contract, Indianapolis Colts
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts have struck a huge deal hours before kicking off Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season, making Quenton Nelson the highest-paid guard in NFL history.

Indianapolis made it clear this summer that it wanted to sign Nelson to a long-term deal before the regular season began. Initially, the front office hoped a deal would be in place before September. While it took slightly longer than expected, Nelson is now joining the ranks of the highest-paid NFL players.

As first reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN, Nelson is signing a four-year contract extension worth $80 million. The $20 million average annual value immediately makes him the highest-paid guard in the NFL and the $60 million guaranteed is one of the highest figures ever for an offensive lineman.

Related: Indianapolis Colts schedule

  • Quenton Nelson PFF stats (2021): 69.1 overall grade, 15 pressures allowed, five penalties, one sack allowed in 767 total offensive snaps

Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Zack Martin was currently the highest-paid guard in football, with an $84 million contract. However, he signed a six-year deal and his $14 million AAV comes in behind Jacksonville Jaguars guard Brandon Scherff ($16.5 million), Kansas City Chiefs guard Joe Thuney ($16 million) and Cleveland Browns guard Joel Bitonio ($16 million).

While Nelson didn’t necessarily reach the total contract value of Martin’s deal, his AAV and guaranteed money are easily the new marks for offensive guards. Putting the $60 million guaranteed into perspective, it is the third-highest total guaranteed for any offensive lineman, just behind New Orleans Saints’ right tackle Ryan Ramczyk ($60.214 million) and Baltimore Ravens’ Ronnie Stanley ($70.86 million)