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Quenton Nelson could 'Break the Bank' with New Contract

ESPN Reports Indianapolis Colts offensive guard Quenton Nelson could "break the bank" on his next contract.
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Taking an offensive guard with the No. 6 overall pick is considered a reach because of positional value. But there is no scale for positional value for a game-changing player.

Quenton Nelson is a game-changing player for the Indianapolis Colts. 

Indianapolis took him with the No. 6 overall pick out of Notre Dame in 2018, and he has become the consensus top offensive guard, and one of the top linemen in the NFL period.

He was first-team All-Pro as a rookie and three of his first four seasons in the league, and he has been to the Pro Bowl in all four seasons.

The Colts picked up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract, and he will see his yearly compensation nearly double from $7.7 million in 2021 to $13.8 million in 2022 according to Spotrac

He's scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent after this season, and the Colts have the option of using the franchise tag on him. Tagging him would be a bargain for the Colts because of the "under-valued" nature of the guard position, but ESPN's Jeremy Fowler thinks Nelson will want, and get, left tackle money.

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The Colts would like to prioritize re-signing Nelson but know this will be costly. That's why this deal could take time. The guard market is very reasonable, with Jacksonville's Brandon Scherff being the highest paid at $16.5 million per year. But that might be part of the problem. Nelson, 26, is widely considered the NFL's best guard by a wide margin and could want closer to $20 million annually. I have heard the same sentiment from several veteran agents: Nelson will break the bank. While Nelson -- who has a career pass block win rate of 94.7% -- doesn't play left tackle, this might be a left tackle conversation based on money. -- Jeremy Fowler, ESPN

The Colts have a history of taking care of their own, and Fowler doesn't think money will be a problem when it comes to signing Nelson to a new contract.

Luckily for Nelson and the Colts, Indianapolis budgets for in-house talent and doesn't spend big in free agency. The Colts still have $14.4 million in 2022 cap space, and that's with Nelson's $13.76 million cap hit off the fifth-year option included -- which can be reduced on a new deal. -- Jeremy Fowler, ESPN

The Colts took a risk when they used the No. 6 overall pick on an offensive guard, but the four teams ahead of them in 2018 probably wished they had taken that risk.