On Wednesday, the Detroit Lions confirmed they had inked left tackle Taylor Decker to a long-term extension. Decker was entering the final year of his rookie contract, and while the team did not disclose contract information, Decker’s agency announced that it was a six-year deal worth $85 million—which later reports clarified as truly a four-year, $60 extension.
Lions head coach Matt Patricia spoke with the media on Wednesday morning and explained how impressed he’s been with Decker over the past two seasons.
“I’ve just seen so much growth in him over the last couple of years in his ability to just get better at the position—just be more consistent. His technique, his leadership is outstanding. The way that he approaches every single day. He’s really just been a consistent guy for us at the offensive line.
I would say his overall football knowledge has just really increased with the different types of looks and protections and blitz packages that they see at the offensive line, the run game. Just overall improvement by him each year, and I think he’s having a great camp. I think he’s working really hard. He’s been the same guy every day. I just couldn’t be happier for him, in general, with his development as a player, and then obviously everything that goes along with that for his future.
I think he’s an integral part of what we’re trying to do and what we’re trying to be about. Everyday I get a chance to work with him, it’s been great. I’m really excited about that. I’m really excited about all of it, but I would say the improvement that he’s made over the last couple of years—with the coaching changes, the head coaching changes and all the rest of it—you can just see the growth and development that he’s had. You always want to do everything you can to raise your own and reward your own, and, certainly, Taylor’s done an awesome job for us.”
Meanwhile, general manager Bob Quinn offered this written statement via the Lions’ official announcement of the extension:
“Since the day we drafted him, Taylor has dedicated himself to our program and has developed into an important piece of our offense. As one of our team captains, he sets a great example for every player in our locker room. This extension is a reflection of all of Taylor’s hard work, and we are incredibly excited to come to this agreement and continue to work with Taylor for years to come. I also want to thank Taylor and his representatives for their work in making this extension a reality.”
And here’s the moment Decker solidified his place in Detroit for the foreseeable future: