The Indianapolis Colts locked up another core special teams player, as the team announced that it signed long snapper Luke Rhodes to an extension—which effectively makes him the highest paid player at his position in all of football:
The #Colts signed Luke Rhodes to a four-year, $4.85 million contract extension that makes him the NFL’s highest-paid long snapper, source said. He gets $1.25 million guaranteed. Nice payday for onetime undrafted rookie.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) June 11, 2019
Rhodes has been a revelation for the Colts considering he was a linebacker by trade only two years ago:
Most don’t know this but Colts snapper Luke Rhodes has really only been snapping for 2 years or so. He’s a linebacker turned long snapper & worked his tail off to get better at such a specialized skill. He played guard on the punt unit in ‘16. Now he’s the best snapper in the NFL— Matt Overton (@MattOverton_LS) June 11, 2019
Now, he’s arguably one of the top players at his position— and now, he's also one of the richest.
The former undrafted free agent out of William & Mary has consistently looked the part of a seasoned long-snapper since taking over the team’s duties full-time two seasons ago—having not missed a single start.
To me, the greatest advantage to having Rhodes isn’t just that his snaps are incredibly clean and crisp, but as a 6’2”, 242 pound former linebacker, it should give the Colts’ special teams coverage units an “extra defender” out there.
Instead of having a third-string tight end type who’s pretty underwhelming as a tackler and tracking opposing returners down, Rhodes has experience, speed, and athleticism, as a former linebacker and should be a clear upgrade to the NFL’s average long snapper.
It’s that unique versatility which makes him invaluable.
Because of his exceptional reliability snapping the past two seasons, the 26 year old was rewarded to a lucrative multi-year deal on Tuesday—just days after the man he frequently snaps to, punter Rigoberto Sanchez, was extended, as well.
The Colts are clearly taking care of business as it relates to retaining their key special teams players long-term this offseason. If Adam Vinatieri wasn’t 46 years old and considering retirement on a year-to-year basis, he’d probably be next in line.