The Detroit Lions have signed left tackle Taylor Decker to a multiyear extension, the team announced Wednesday. It is a six-year, $85 million contract extension, with $37.5 million fully guaranteed, his agents announced on Twitter on Tuesday.
Decker was the 16th overall pick in the 2016 draft -- the team's first selection with general manager Bob Quinn. Decker started working with the first team during his first week with the Lions and has protected the blind side of Matthew Stafford ever since.
A product of Ohio State, Decker said in August that he had initial conversations with the Lions about a potential extension, but he didn't know what to expect, in part because of the coronavirus pandemic. Decker was playing this season on his fifth-year option, which had been picked up by the club in 2019.
Decker has started all 55 games he has played in for the Lions and has caught one pass in his career -- an 11-yard touchdown in Week 17 of the 2018 season. He has been one of Detroit's most consistent linemen and one of the foundational pieces, along with center Frank Ragnow, that the Lions have tried to rebuild their line around.
Lions coach Matt Patricia said it is part of the "first wave" of re-signings that might end up getting done in the near future. The Lions also have Kenny Golladay and Matt Prater among players entering their contract years -- as well as Marvin Jones (who is less likely to get an extension) and Duron Harmon (who the team traded for this offseason). Ragnow is another player who has years left on his rookie deal but could get an extension.
"The foundation. We're just getting to that point," Patricia said. "I think Taylor is a great example of that, of a guy that has been drafted to play here, that has developed and has gotten better, that has been everything that we want to be about. And you want to keep those guys as you raise them and as you develop them and watch them grow. It's impossible to build a team through roster changes and free agency every year. You just can't do it. Financially, it's impossible."
With six years on his new deal, Decker's contract will extend longer than that of any other current Lions player, which makes sense for a player who has emerged as a team leader in the past year. He has spoken to the media more on football matters and was one of three players the Lions had represent them when they spoke publicly last Tuesday at the team's protest of the shooting of Jacob Blake.