The Indianapolis Colts announced tonight that they have officially agreed to terms on a new long-term contract extension with left tackle Anthony Castonzo.
The extension was reported earlier this afternoon and was finalized tonight. According to FOX59's Mike Chappell, it is a four-year deal worth $43.6 million that will pay Castonzo $35 million over the first three years of the deal - an amount that is guaranteed.
"Left tackles like Anthony Castonzo are hard to come by," Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said in a release issued by the team. "He's a team first guy that works as hard at his craft as anyone I have ever been around regardless of position. His desire to be great literally consumes him and he is a shining example of the sacrifice it truly takes every single day to be at the top of his game come Sunday. From ownership on down we are all extremely happy that AC will be wearing the horseshoe for many years to come. "
Castonzo has started 56 games in a row (dating back to his rookie season), a streak that is the fifth-longest active streak among NFL tackles. He played more snaps than any lineman in football last year and did a good job, providing the Colts with consistency up front on a unit that really didn't have much of it. Castonzo is one of the better left tackles in the league and without a doubt the most important piece of the Colts' offensive line.
He was a huge priority for the Colts, too, as they prioritized re-signing Castonzo and wide receiver T.Y. Hilton. Owner Jim Irsay noted before training camp began that both of those deals could come before Labor Day, and while they didn't quite make that deadline, they were pretty close and still got both deals done before the team starts their regular season. With players like Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener set to become free agents next offseason (which would have been in addition to Castonzo and Hilton) as well as a very possible mega-deal for Andrew Luck, it made sense for the Colts to get both of these guys wrapped up before this season started, which is what they've done. Anthony Castonzo will be protecting Andrew Luck's blindside for several years to come, and that's a good thing.