Colts sign Luke Rhodes to richest contract for long-snapper

INDIANAPOLIS -- Luke Rhodes arrived in Indianapolis as an undrafted free agent linebacker in 2016.

On Friday, he became -- of all things -- the NFL's highest-paid long-snapper.

Rhodes, an All-Pro selection in 2021, signed a four-year extension with the Indianapolis Colts, locking him up through the 2027 season. Rhodes, who had one season remaining on his previous contract, gets $2.5 million in guarantees (including his $1.2 million previously scheduled 2023 base salary) and will receive $6.465 million in new money, his agent, Evan Brennan, told ESPN.com.

Rhodes' new contract is the continuation of a remarkable story that began when he joined the Colts' practice squad in 2016 as a backup linebacker. He played briefly at the position for Indianapolis in December of that season before taking up general manager Chris Ballard's suggestion to learn how to snap the next offseason.

Rhodes went on to win the long-snapping job in 2017 and never looked back. This marks the second contract extension he's signed with the Colts, following his first in 2019.

The Colts have invested richly in their kicking game in 2023. The Rhodes contract comes on the heels of the team signing kicker Matt Gay in March to a four-year contract with a maximum value of $22.5 million. That deal made Gay the second-highest paid place kicker behind Justin Tucker of the Baltimore Ravens.