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Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard scoffed at the idea of moving left guard Quenton Nelson to the left tackle position during his year-end press conference on Thursday.
There are essentially two schools of thought that go into the notion of moving Nelson to left tackle. One, the Colts have a major need at that position both in the short and long term. Two, in order to help justify giving him a record-breaking contract, the value of the position is worth more.
But Ballard completely dismissed the idea of moving Nelson to the edge.
“No. No. Why would you move a Hall of Fame left guard to left tackle? That just makes no sense to me. Makes no sense,” Ballard told the media. “Look, he’s got a ways to go to be a Hall of Fame player. But why would you move a great player to left tackle? No, we’re not doing that.”
The Colts exercised the fifth-year option for Nelson’s rookie contract so he isn’t scheduled to hit free agency until after the 2022 season. However, it should be expected that the Colts are already working on the extension for the three-time All-Pro.
And with that extension is going to come a lot of arguing about positional value. Considering that it’s likely Nelson will command over $20 million per season, there are valid questions as to why the Colts would pay tackle money to a guard.
Now, don’t read what I’m not writing. Those questions have less to do with Nelson’s talent and more to do with the fact that the guard positions—as a whole—are pretty replaceable. Nelson’s an incredible talent and is on his way to being a Hall of Famer so he’s going to get paid.
“We’ll work through it. Look, Quenton’s a Colt. Want him to be a Colt long term,” Ballard said. “When we do the contract we’ll work through that.’’
Regardless of where you might stand on the positional value in terms of the contract that Nelson is going to receive, it doesn’t appear the Colts are going to even consider a move to left tackle for the former first-round pick.