According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Indianapolis Colts have a ‘no brainer’ decision coming up (until May 3rd) regarding picking up 3x NFL First-Team All-Pro offensive guard Quenton Nelson’s 5th-year option for the 2022 season—as a former 2018 first round pick of the franchise:
This was a change in the 2020 CBA that will most benefit the likes of Quenton Nelson and Minkah Fitzpatrick, who are multi-time Pro Bowl selections.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 10, 2021
With around $47M of salary cap space, the Colts have the salary cap flexibility to get a long-term deal done with Nelson right now.
However, with ‘Big Q’ still under contract for at least two more years (and Darius Leonard and Braden Smith as more imminent free agents), Indianapolis could wait a year to see if the franchise can add some impact pieces to make a more serious run at a Super Bowl and also look to get Smith and Leonard’s deals done in the mean time (both of whom are set to become free agents after the 2021 season).
Make no mistake about it though, Nelson isn’t going anywhere.
With Nelson’s projected 5th-year option of roughly $14M, having made more than two Pro Bowls, it will be a no brainer for the Colts to pick up before May 3rd—with the hopes of working out a long-term deal before it expires after the 2022 season regardless.
His mega-deal, which will assuredly make him the highest paid offensive guard of all-time, is on the near horizon—but in the mean time, the Colts will gladly pick up his 5th-year option with the hopes of hammering out a long-term extension with Nelson before then.