Darius Leonard contract should reach same $19M APY as Fred Warner

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One of the dominos in the contract extension world fell Wednesday as the San Francisco 49ers and linebacker Fred Warner agreed to a massive deal that pays him $19 million per year.

Next up on that list of linebackers set to get paid handsomely is Darius Leonard of the Indianapolis Colts, who should see the same per-year averages as Warner on his upcoming extension, if not exceed them.

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Both Leonard and Warner have been two of the best off-ball linebackers in the league over the last few years and there was somewhat of a waiting game to see which domino would fall first.

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.

Leonard is one of a few extensions that will likely get done soon for the Colts. Right tackle Braden Smith is another whose deal should get done soon—potentially before Week 1—along with left guard Quenton Nelson and running back Nyheim Hines.

The Colts can afford to wait on Nelson’s because they picked up his fifth-year option.

Leonard has been a leader in the locker room ever since he stepped foot on the field for the Colts, and it won’t be long until he gets a bag worth more than $19 million annually.