Taylor Decker, Lions agree on multi-year extension
The Detroit Lions have reached an agreement on a multiple-year extension with Taylor Decker, according to the player's representation.
The pact is valued at $85 million with $37.5 million in guarantees, according to the agent, but a source with knowledge of the negotiations noted those figures include both the upcoming season and a voidable year at the end of the deal to spread out the cap hit.
In reality, that makes it a four-year extension, which keeps Decker under contract with Detroit through 2024.
Decker, a first-round draft pick for the Lions in 2016, has appeared in 55 games over four seasons with the Lions. He missed eight games in 2017 after suffering a shoulder injury during an offseason practice.
When asked about his contract throughout the offseason, Decker exhibited a calm patience given the circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the potential ramifications that is expected to have on league revenue and future salary caps.
"It's just kind of uncharted territory for everybody — for the organization, for my agent," Decker last month. "At this point, every day is new for me right now in the building, so I'm just trying to get that figured out at this point. Just having a level of understanding it's a complicated situation and it's not like every other year before where guys would be going into free agency and everything is normal and business as usual. (We're) just being adaptable with that situation and kind of taking it day by day because you don't know what the situation is going to be."
In recent weeks, Decker has also emerged as one of the team's leading voices off the field. When the team canceled practice last week, in an effort to raise awareness for social justice issues, Decker was one of three players that spoke, along with Trey Flowers and Duron Harmon.
"Hearing the pain in the voices of guys I care about, guys I love, great men, great fathers, great husbands, they shouldn’t have to go through that," Decker said. "I want them to know that I’m here for them, because we are a brotherhood. At the the end of the day, we’re all humans who want to be loved, safe, secure and happy. And you shouldn’t have to look over your shoulder and worry about your well-being.
"The spring was a big learning experience for me, getting other guys’ perspectives, because those aren’t my perspectives," Decker said. "But I thought it was important for them to know that I care about them and I love them. And I want that change too. And I want everybody to be loved, safe, secure and happy."
Factoring in the voidable year, Decker's deal averages a little more than $14 million per season. That would register as 10th-highest figure among offense tackles. Prior to the extension, he was set to play on the fifth-year option of his rookie deal — a one-year, $10.35 million salary.