With his minty new five-year contract extension, Darius Leonard is now the highest-paid linebacker in the NFL thanks to the massive deal the Indianapolis Colts signed him to.
Leonard’s deal is for five years and worth $99.2 million with $52.5 million guaranteed. The deal keeps Leonard with the Colts through his age-31 season and is set to be a free agent in 2027.
Here’s how the top contracts at the linebacker position look now, sorted by per-year average from Over The Cap:
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This contract adds to the final year of Leonard’s rookie contract in 2021 and will kick in for the 2022 season. His cap number doesn’t approach the $20 million mark until the 2023 season even though Leonard is set to make $60 million over his first three seasons of the new deal.
The first two seasons of the deal are guaranteed, and the Colts can’t begin getting out of the contract until 2024, if it ever comes to that.
Leonard has been one of the most productive linebackers in the league since he was selected in the second round of the 2018 NFL draft.
In his 42 games played since entering the league, Leonard has recorded 268 solo tackles, 15.0 sacks and seven interceptions. No linebacker since 2000 has recorded those numbers in their first 42 games.
It was expected the Colts would make Leonard the highest-paid linebacker in the league, and they followed through on that.
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