The Colts expect to hammer out an extension with Darius Leonard sometime soon. There’s mutual interest between the team and Leonard, but the linebacker isn’t looking to give a deep hometown discount.
“You know what you’ve done, and you know what you deserve,” Leonard said (Twitter link via Zak Keefer of The Athletic). “Hopefully, they see as much value as I see.”
Taken with the No. 36 overall pick in 2018, Leonard was an instant difference maker for the Colts. He’s proven to be a great second-round value, though his slot did not provide Indy with a fifth-year option. As a result, he’s currently on course for free agency in the spring of 2022.
Leonard made an All-Pro team in each of his first three seasons, including his first year when he also captured the Defensive Rookie of the Year trophy. He’s now aiming for top-of-the-market inside linebacker money and it’s a safe bet that he’ll get it. You could say that Leonard has been very solid but shy of spectacular, but he’s still young — he won’t turn 26 until July.
For the Colts, that could mean a deal worth about $20MM per year. Meanwhile, they’ll also work to lock up the No. 37 pick in the ’18 class, starting right tackle Braden Smith.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.