Tuesday is officially Tackle Day in the NFC North.
Hours after Minnesota finalized a restructure to retain left tackle Riley Reiff, the Detroit Lions agreed to a five-year, $70.35 million contract extension with left tackle Taylor Decker, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.
Decker's extension includes $37.5 million fully guaranteed, Rapoport added, but isn't quite the length his representation presents it to be on paper. Rapoport reported the deal tacks on four new years to Decker's existing contract that is set to pay him $10.35 million in 2020, meaning the following four years are worth $60 million. There is a sixth and final year on the contract that is voidable for cap management reasons, explaining the six-year, $85 million number made public by Decker's representation.
The deal is a landmark one for Decker's representation, AMDG Sports, which was launched in April by former Pro Bowl center LeCharles Bentley as the first sports agency exclusively dedicated to offensive line athletes. Bentley, who played for the New Orleans Saints and briefly for the Cleveland Browns before suffering career-ending knee injuries, also operates O-Line Performance in Chandler, Arizona, where players such as Decker, free-agent Pro Bowl guard Larry Warford and others train in the offseason.
Decker's work has paid off in the form of the aforementioned lucrative extension. Drafted 16th-overall out of Ohio State in 2016, Decker has brought his Big Ten pedigree to Detroit, where he's served as a reliable left tackle who has steadily improved over the last two seasons, per Pro Football Focus player grades. Though he could stand to cut his penalties total down to single digits after recording a career-high 10 in 2019, Decker has proven to be an anchor for Detroit up front.
Detroit is paying him accordingly, again proving it believes in the wisdom of investing up front.