Inside the Quenton Nelson deal

Indianapolis Colts v Buffalo Bills
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The night before the first game of the season, Colts offensive lineman Quenton Nelson has broken the bank.

The news broke last night. We’ve gotten a breakdown of the deal. The details appear below, as they always do, for the four-year, $80 million extension signed by Nelson.

1. Signing bonus: $31 million.

2. 2022 base salary: $4 million, fully guaranteed.

3. 2023 base salary: $6 million, fully guaranteed.

4. 2024 base salary: $19 million, guaranteed for injury at signing and fully guaranteed on the fifth day of the 2023 league year.

5. 2025 90-man roster bonus: $2 million.

6. 2025 base salary: $14.563 million.

7. 2026 90-man roster bonus: $2 million.

8. 2026 base salary: $16 million.

The deal, which is as simple and clean as major contracts ever can be, pays out $41 million fully guaranteed at signing, with a practical guarantee of $60 million — since another $19 million vests next March.

Nelson resets the market at guard by a whopping $3.5 million per year in new-money average over the $16.5 million Brandon Scherff received from the Jaguars. Nelson also pockets the largest signing bonus for any offensive lineman, and the third-highest guarantee for any offensive lineman.

It’s a no-brainer. Nelson has been a great player from the get-go, and he transformed the attitude of the team’s entire wall of blockers.

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