Last Updated: 04/09/20 7:07am
Ryan Kelly has signed a long-term contract extension with the Indianapolis Colts, reportedly making him the highest-paid center in the NFL.
While terms weren’t revealed as the Colts announced the deal on Thursday, multiple media outlets reported that Kelly’s extension is for four years and $50m (£38m), including $34m (£26m) guaranteed.
“I guess the one thing I’ve learned in this business is even if you’re the highest paid, you’re going to be the highest paid for it could be a week, it could be a year,” Kelly said. “Someone is going to jump you eventually.
“I’m sure when the first $30 million quarterback happened, everybody was like, ‘Ooh, holy crap.’ But in my opinion, it’s about going out there every single day and doing my job. That’s honestly what I care about doing. You don’t play the game for free. You’re going out there and putting your body on the line every single Sunday. It’s awesome.”
According to reports, the extension kicks in next year after Kelly completes his rookie deal in 2020, when he will receive $10.35m (£8m) as his fifth-year option.
Kelly, 27, earned his first Pro Bowl appearance last year after starting every game for just the second time in his four-year NFL career. A first-round draft pick (18th overall) out of Alabama in 2016, Kelly started all 16 games as a rookie, but he was limited to a combined 19 games the next two years.
“I didn’t want to go anywhere else, to be honest,” he said. “I never told anybody that besides my agent. I didn’t want to go play in Seattle, it’s too far away. Indianapolis is two hours from my house (in West Chester, Ohio).
“This would be awesome to have my parents come and see all my games, my grandpa, all my grandparents, aunts and uncles.
“Feels good to be rewarded. I want to live up to the contract I signed. Go out every single day, be the leader on the offensive line they I know I can be. Play with the consistency I can play with and stay healthy. Those are the things that drive me every single day.”
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