Offensive lineman Quenton Nelson and the Indianapolis Colts have agreed to terms on a four-year contract extension worth $80 million, including $60 million in guarantees, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Saturday.
The contract positions Nelson as the highest-paid guard in the league on the eve of Indianapolis' 2022 regular-season opener against the Texans.
Scheduled to earn $13.75 million on his fifth-year option this season, Nelson is now under contract through 2026, which figures to run through running back Jonathan Taylor's prime.
The Notre Dame product joined the Colts in 2018 as the No. 6 overall pick in the draft and wasted no time in ascending to the top of the ranks.
Nelson has reached the Pro Bowl in all four seasons of his career and is a three-time first-team All-Pro. He has played in 61 of 65 possible games for the Colts, with his only games missed and only missed first-team All-Pro nod coming last year in wake of an ankle injury.
His lowest pass-blocking (62.0) and run-blocking (70.4) Pro Football Focus grades came in 2021, in part due to contending with the injury, but Nelson averaged an 82.7 pass-blocking grade and an 85.7 run-blocking grade across his first three seasons.
The Colts will be counting on Nelson to continue his dominance -- he's allowed only five sacks in his career -- as they take another whirl on the quarterback carousel. Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has brought a renewed confidence to Indy as the team's fifth starter at the position in as many years, but he'll require a robust offensive line behind Nelson and company to reach those expected heights at this point in his career.
Nelson, one of the biggest names amongst those in the NFL's unsung trenches, now has the security he deserves by being under contract for the next half-decade. Ryan's pocket to throw and Taylor's running lanes will likely be just as protected.