Offensive guard is a position where big bucks typically have not been spent in the NFL.
But, that has been changing more and more as <a href="http://www.authenticsteelersshop.com/shop-by-players-david-decastro-jersey-c-2_27.html">David Decastro Youth Jersey</a> guys like Kelechi Osemele and David Decastro have signed contracts paying them more than $11 million annually in the last year. Even this week, Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif signed a massive contract extension, that will pay him like one of the league's top guards with a five-yard, $41.25 million deal.
Kevin Zeitler is about to be added to the list of guards making five figure annual salaries. He’s become one of the best right guards in the business, and he’s about to be paid like an elite offensive lineman, though it probably will not be in Cincinnati.
According to Draft Analyst’s Tony Pauline, Zeitler will likely be signing a massive deal this offseason, and we should expect it to be with a new team.
This jives with what’s been reported on Zeitler and his impending payday for much of this offseason. That number is also close to what Spotrac is projecting for Zeitler.
The contract resource website has him projected to earn a deal paying him around $11.6 million annually, which is likely far above what the <a href="http://www.authenticcowboysstore.com/shop-by-players-troy-aikman-jersey-c-2_51.html">http://www.authenticcowboysstore.com/shop-by-players-troy-aikman-jersey-c-2_51.html Bengals are willing to pay the stud guard. Spotrac's exact projection for Zeitler is five years, $58,107,783 with an average annual salary of $11,621,557. That would make him the second highest paid guard and 64th highest paid NFL player. For comparison, Bengals left guard Clint Boling makes the 20th ranked annual guard salary and he has a five-year, $26 million contract. He's currently entering the third year of the deal in 2017.
Sports Illustrated’s Chris Burke believes Zeitler is the cream of the crop in terms of free agent guards this year. He also thinks the Dolphins could be his best fit.
It also helps that there’s a connection between Miami and Cincinnati that could help make the Dolphins a viable landing spot. Former Bengals linebackers coach Matt Burke, who served in that role for the Bengals from 2014-15, is now Miami’s defensive coordinator after Vance Joseph, also a former Bengals assistant, became the head coach of the Broncos this offseason.
Denver could be another team to watch out for as they need help up and down their offensive line. Joseph obviously knows what Zeitler brings to the table after both were in Cincinnati from 2014-15, which is also the case with Burke in Miami.
It helps that both teams are also projected to <a href="http://www.authenticnflraidersshop.com/shop-by-players-willie-brown-jersey-c-2_33.html">http://www.authenticnflraidersshop.com/shop-by-players-willie-brown-jersey-c-2_33.html have $40-plus million in cap space this offseason. That makes them very dangerous teams who could be poised to lure Zeitler away from Cincinnati.