Jan 5, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Indianapolis Colts center Ryan Kelly (78) against the Houston Texans during the AFC Wild Card at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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Reports: Colts make Kelly NFL’s highest-paid center

Ryan Kelly realizes the title might not last long, but as of the moment, he is the highest-paid center in NFL history.

He signed a long-term contract extension to remain in Indianapolis, the Colts announced Thursday. While terms weren’t revealed, multiple media outlets reported that Kelly’s extension is for four years and $50 million, including $34 million guaranteed.

“I guess the one thing I’ve learned in this business is even if you’re the highest paid, you’re going to be the highest paid for it could be a week, it could be a year,” Kelly said on a video call. “Someone is going to jump you eventually.

“I’m sure when the first $30 million quarterback happened, everybody was like, ‘Ooh, holy crap.’ But in my opinion, it’s about going out there every single day and doing my job. That’s honestly what I care about doing. You don’t play the game for free. You’re going out there and putting your body on the line every single Sunday. It’s awesome.”

According to reports, the extension kicks in next year after Kelly completes his rookie deal in 2020, when he will receive $10.35 million as his fifth-year option.

Kelly, 27, earned his first Pro Bowl appearance last year after starting every game for just the second time in his four-year NFL career. A first-round draft pick (18th overall) out of Alabama in 2016, Kelly started all 16 games as a rookie, but he was limited to a combined 19 games the next two years.

“I didn’t want to go anywhere else, to be honest,” he said. “I never told anybody that besides my agent. I didn’t want to go play in Seattle, it’s too far away. Indianapolis is two hours from my house (in West Chester, Ohio). This would be awesome to have my parents come and see all my games, my grandpa, all my grandparents, aunts and uncles.”

Kelly added, “Feels good to be rewarded. I want to live up to the contract I signed. Go out every single day, be the leader on the offensive line they I 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.”

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.


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