Colts’ Pro Bowler Kelly Signs Extension, Becomes Highest-paid Center in NFL

Colts' Ryan Kelly (78) in 2018. Photo by Chris Brown/CSM/REX/Shutterstock

The Indianapolis Colts announced on Thursday that they have signed Pro Bowl center Ryan Kelly to a four-year extension. According to several reports, the extension made Kelly the highest-paid player on his position.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that Kelly’s new deal comes with a $12.5 million annual salary and the total worth of $50 million. This includes $34 million in guarantees.

“Feels good to be rewarded,” said Kelly, who had one year left on his rookie deal. “I want to live up to the contract I signed. Go out every single day, be the leader on the offensive line they 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.”

Kelly and the Colts were reportedly engaged in contract negotiations for the major part of the offseason, with the player wanting to get the deal done before the season opener. Despite some rough stretches in the talks, the two sides managed to find common ground in recent weeks, and now the 27-year-old Kelly is locked to be the key component of the Indianapolis’ offensive line for the next five seasons.

Colts drafted Ryan Kelly with No.18 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. He made 51 starts since then, including playing all 16 games in 2019 and earning his first Pro Bowl nod.