Ryan Kelly‘s extension talks progressed to an accepted offer Thursday. The Colts have announced they extended their veteran center.
The former first-round pick signed a four-year, $50MM contract, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Kelly will receive $34MM in guarantees. In terms of per-year salary and guarantees, this contract makes Kelly the NFL’s highest-paid center by a comfortable margin.
Going into what was set to be a contract year, Kelly said at multiple junctures this year he sought a long-term stay in Indianapolis. This represents a key commitment for a Colts team that returns all five of its offensive line starters, forming one of the league’s top fronts. They re-signed left tackle Anthony Castonzo in March, ensuring their entire quintet would be back for the 2020 season.
Kelly’s $12.5MM-per-year average comes in well north of Rodney Hudson‘s previous center high-water mark, topping the market by more than $1MM in average annual value. The guarantees given to the Colts snapper top the previous No. 1 figure by $5.5MM. Kelly, 27, is now signed through the 2024 season.
The Colts drafted Kelly 18th overall out of Alabama in 2016. He made his first Pro Bowl last season, when the Colts placed third in Pro Football Focus’ year-end O-line rankings. Philip Rivers has said the Colts’ O-line played a key role in his decision to sign with Indianapolis. Rivers’ eventual successor will now be set to take snaps from Kelly, who has ranked as a top-10 center — per PFF — in each of the past two seasons.
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