All offseason, the only real question regarding veteran right tackle Braden Smith is if he'd get a contract extension with the Indianapolis Colts, and what that contract would look like.
On Wednesday, that question was answered as the Indianapolis Colts, General Manager Chris Ballard and owner Jim Irsay handed out a four-year, $72.4 million contract extension with the Pro Bowl right tackle, making him the second-highest paid right tackle in the NFL.
Following the news of his new contract and his first practice with the Colts as the highest-paid offensive lineman (for the time being) on the roster, Smith spoke at length about how grateful he is to the Colts' organization, including how relieved he is to have the contract talks behind him.
“It’s just kind of a little bit of a relief (in) knowing where you’re going to be at the next couple of years. I love this organization," Smith said. "Thank you Mr. (Jim) Irsay and Chris Ballard for believing in me. I feel like Indianapolis is my home. They paid me so I want to pay them back and play my best football, help them win as many games as we can and just keep giving back.”
Smith has already given so much to an organization that took a chance on him in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft – one pick after defensive teammate Darius Leonard — and converted him to tackle after he played guard at Auburn.
The position switch led to Smith unlocking his abilities as a powerful, athletic tackle that has become a cornerstone of the Colts' offensive line, holding nearly as much importance and value as All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson.
With the new deal in place and more money in his pocket, don't expect Smith to become complacent. The work still continues as he strives to be the best tackle in the game and lead the Colts to the Super Bowl.
"Yes sir – working every day," Smith said. "It starts today and continues every day.”
Have thoughts on Braden Smith's new contract with the Indianapolis Colts? Drop a line in the comments section below letting us know how you feel!