Just like that, Indianapolis Colts' star linebacker Darius Leonard is the highest-paid off-ball linebacker in the NFL.
Leonard inked a five-year, $99.25 million extension Sunday morning with the Colts, surpassing the recent extension San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner signed in late July.
The deal between the Colts and Leonard is a record breaker, giving the former second-round draft pick that many labeled the worst pick of the 2018 NFL Draft roughly $20 million per year over the first three years of the deal, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, and includes an astounding $52.5 million in guarantees.
By signing Leonard to the extension far ahead of Week 1, the Colts accomplished their goal of inking both Leonard and standout right tackle Braden Smith to lucrative extensions ahead of the start of the 2021 season.
It remains to be seen just how the contract breaks down in detail, but it feels like a sound deal for both sides and accomplishes the goal for both parties.
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