It seems like a lifetime ago following the 70-minute tie the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans played to in Week 1 on September 11, but on the eve of the game, the Colts locked up one of their best players on a contract extension.
Indianapolis and 3-time All-Pro left guard Quenton Nelson agreed to a 4-year extension worth $80 million. The deal included $60 million guaranteed and will make Nelson the highest-paid guard in NFL history.
One could assume that that kind of money and security would make any person extremely happy. But Nelson shared what made him frustrated about the contract after Indianapolis’ tie on September 11.
“I was pretty p***** it happened the day before the game … I didn’t want it to go that long, and I just wanted to focus on the game,” Nelson said to the media.
It’s important to note that Nelson’s negative reaction to his historically great contract for offensive guards could be due to his frustration from the Week 1 tie versus the Texans. The Colts trailed by double digits for most of the afternoon and settled for a tie after Rodrigo Blankenship missed a 42-yard field goal in overtime.
But the fact remains that in a perfect world for Nelson, the Colts would have agreed to his contract demands earlier in the offseason.
Nelson Sounds Off on Timing of Contract Extension
Nelson was in a bit of a lose-lose situation after his new extension arrived on September 10, and the Colts didn’t win the season opener. Inevitably, Nelson would receive questions about the deal following the game, and since the Colts tied in a very frustratingly way, maybe the guard didn’t want to be overly joyous.
Or maybe he just flat out wasn’t in an overly joyous mood anyway following the game.
The Colts could have helped Nelson avoid that situation with the contract extension coming earlier in the offseason. Indianapolis general manager Chris Ballard spoke numerous times during the offseason about how it was the organization’s goal to extend Nelson a new contract.
This offseason, Colts owner Jim Irsay was also very confident that a new deal was coming for Nelson soon.
But it didn’t come until about 15 hours before opening kickoff, which apparently wasn’t great timing in Nelson’s mind.
Nelson Adds That He’s ‘Happy’ Contract is Done
While Nelson initially responded negatively to his new contract in front of reporters, as he continued to talk about it, he became a lot more positive.
“I’m really happy it got done, and I’m really happy to be part of this organization and this community for four more years,” Nelson said. “I love Indiana. I’m just so thankful to the Irsay family, Chris Ballard and coach Reich and my teammates for helping making this happen.”
The Colts drafted Nelson at No. 6 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. He has made first-team All Pro 3 times and the Pro Bowl on 4 occasions. Nelson and Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders are the only players in NFL history to make first-team All Pro in each of their first three seasons.
Nelson has also been a Colts captain since the start of the 2021 season.