INDIANAPOLIS – The commitment to ensure Quenton Nelson would remain an Indianapolis Colt for the long term has become a reality.

And it’s expensive.

The team agreed to a four-year, $80 million extension with Nelson late Saturday night, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

The deal includes $60 million in guarantees makes him the highest-paid guard in NFL history by a wide margin the Colts’ highest-paid non-quarterback.

The $20 million average tops linebacker Shaquille Leonard’s $19.7 million average among Colts and trails only quarterback Matt Ryan’s $26.95 million.

Among NFL guards, Nelson soars past Jacksonville’s Brandon Scherff ($16.5 million), Cleveland’s Joel Bitonio ($16 million) and Kansas City’s Joe Thuney ($16 million).

Nelson declined to discuss the looming extension during training camp.

“Respectfully I’m not answering any questions about my contract,’’ he said.

General manager Chris Ballard also declined to elaborate on the on-going negotiations, but reiterated the team’s commitment to Nelson.

“I’m not going to address that,’’ he said. “I think you all know I want him here and we want him here.’’

During the offseason, Ballard was more emphatic.

“Look, Quenton’s a Colt. We want him to be a Colt long term,’’ he said.

Ballard stressed Nelson’s value to the franchise and “what he brings on a daily basis.

“Some players add value just by their influence. Who they are, what they are, what they are in the locker room, what they stand for. And Q means that.’’

The Colts then went against the league norm and selected the Notre Dame All-American with the 6th overall pick in the 2018 draft. He was the first pure guard taken with a top-6 pick since 1986 (Jim Dombrowski, 6th overall by New Orleans). Only seven guards have been selected in the top 10 in the past three decades.

But Nelson has exceeded everyone’s expectations.

Last season, coach Frank Reich described Nelson as “an elite leader.’’

Nelson is the first Colt and just the fifth player since 1970 to earn first-team All-Pro recognition in each of his first three seasons. The other four are rather notable: Barry Sanders, Lawrence Taylor, Earl Campbell and Keith Jackson.

Nelson was second-team All-Pro last season despite missing three games with an ankle injury and a fourth with COVID-19. He had started 51 consecutive regular-season games before the ankle injury snapped his streak. Nelson also overcame foot surgery early in training camp.

As the Colts prepared for Sunday’s opener at Houston, Nelson appears in peak form.

“I really think he’s in a great spot mentally and physically,’’ Frank Reich said. “I just think this is probably the best he’s felt physically. He always trains super hard, but the combination of things he did to train this year, I think hit a sweet spot for him.

“I think his body is at a spot where it probably feels better than it has felt in a while.’’

Nelson agreed.

“I feel great. No surgeries this offseason,’’ he said. “It’s just a chance to really work on my body. Do deep-tissue massages, take some rest, work on stretching, flexibility, eating well and then really hitting the guy hard once I felt like I was ready to.

It’s been a great offseason and now for it to be transferring onto the field, you love to see it.’’

Nelson insisted it’s been “freeing’’ to not be dealing with injuries or rehab on a daily basis.

“It feels great,’’ he said. “It’s definitely something you don’t take for granted again.’’

 Nelson is the latest Colt to earn a lucrative extension. The others:

  • Leonard: five years, $98.25 million, $33 million guaranteed.
  • right tackle Braden Smith: four years, $70 million, $32 million guaranteed.
  • running back Nyheim Hines: three years, $18.6 million, $10.3 million guaranteed.
  • defensive tackle Grover Stewart: three years, $30.75 million, $5.7 million guaranteed.
  • center Ryan Kelly: four years, $49.65 million, $25.35 million guaranteed.
  • defensive tackle DeForest Buckner: four years, $84 million, $39.378 million guaranteed (extended as part of 2020 trade with San Francisco).
  • cornerback Kenny Moore II: four years, $33 million, $18 million guaranteed.
  • punter Rigoberto Sanchez: four years, $11.6 million, $5 million guaranteed.
  • longsnapper Luke Rhodes: four years, $4.8 million, $1.25 million guaranteed.

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You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.