Colts, Quenton Nelson Reset the O-Line Market

Indianapolis Colts guard Quenton Nelson
Indianapolis Colts guard Quenton Nelson
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Week 1 - The Indianapolis Colts have made guard Quenton Nelson the highest-paid guard in NFL History. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter,  Nelson and the Colts reached a four-year extension worth $80 million on the eve of the 2022 season opener. 

According to Schefter, Nelson's "precedent-setting" extension makes Nelson the highest-paid guard in NFL history. Nelson's $20 million average per-year value is the fourth-highest among any lineman in the league, per OverTheCap.  

Nelson has been a fixture on the Colts' offensive line since being drafted sixth overall in the 2018 NFL draft. He has started 61 of the 65 games since entering the league, missing four games to minor injuries and COVID. Despite the absence, Nelson finished 2021 seventh in snaps per blown block and gave up just a half sack through 13 games. 


6 comments, Last at 11 Sep 2022, 9:55pm

#1 by ImNewAroundThe… // Sep 11, 2022 - 8:46am

But Indy sure invests in lower value positions. 

Points: 0

#2 by Pat // Sep 11, 2022 - 11:01am

Now this is what a reset looks like. He wasn't getting paid chump change already, so it's a 5 year $94M contract, or 16.7M flat. Scherffs was 15.5M flat, so this is like a 7% boost. Another easy comparison is that this is an ~18% boost on Thuney's contract from last year, way, way past any cap inflation.

No crazy fake inflated years, so this is just the Colts willing to shell out more. Which isn't that surprising: the fact that the franchise tag is just "OL" is basically serving to ramp up guard contracts to tackle levels.

Still weird, though. They're paying him *more* flat than it would cost this year + next year franchised + even the *next* year! Which makes no sense: either the Colts think the market's going to accelerate even more or Nelson was ticked off or something. Just weird.

To be clear, I'm saying that going to Nelson and saying "look we can probably hold your rights for 3 years $52M fully guaranteed, so let's just do that." And instead they offered *more*. A lot more. That's really rare.

Points: 0

#3 by GwillyGecko // Sep 11, 2022 - 12:52pm

For the 3 years $52m he would have been impossible to keep (unless he chose to stay) after 2024 and instead they're getting him through 2026 for 5 years 94m.  So that doesn't seem like that much more

Points: 0

#4 by Pat // Sep 11, 2022 - 5:50pm

I actually meant I'm more surprised that the guaranteed money/3-year payout is so much higher than the 3 years/$52M they had locked in. You could've still had a 5-year $94M contract with like $50-55M guaranteed and then you'd just wonder a bit about those last 3 years (which you're going to wonder about anyway!). Or if you really wanted to guarantee more you could just delay the guarantees to say year 3 or something.

Scherff, for instance, had complete free agency and this just blows that out of the water. I mean, it's like 7-8% higher in flat terms.

Even 3 years/$52M would be one of the highest guard contracts out there!

Points: 0

#5 by ImNewAroundThe… // Sep 11, 2022 - 9:17pm

I mean T, first game back after payday. 

Points: 0

#6 by LionInAZ // Sep 11, 2022 - 9:53pm

L + don't cover

Extending whiny QBs is overpay hell.

Especially those who can't be bothered to learn the playbook.

Points: 0

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