Darius Leonard just signed a 5-year extension with the Indianapolis Colts which makes him the highest-paid inside linebacker in NFL history … and the deal was brokered by an MMA agent.
Malki Kawa is well-known in the world of UFC, as he represents some of the deadliest MMA fighters to ever enter the Octagon, including Jon Bones Jones and Jorge Masvidal. Through his sports management company, First Round Management, Malki and his team have also taken on several NFL clients, including Leonard, Chandler Jones, David Njoku and Chris Herndon.
Per Adam Schefter, the deal with Darius Leonard and the Colts is a five-year extension – worth a whopping $98.5 million. The contract not only is a huge score for Leoanrd, but also Kawa and his hard-working team as they have now cemented themselves as serious players in the league.
Taking to his Instagram page, Kawa shared a heartfelt message about the dedication everyone has put in over the years.
“From sleeping in cars, to building an agency from scratch, all the long days and nights away from friends and family, to the fights, the ups and downs, the emotional rollercoaster of being hired- then fired because of ‘experience’ or some other lie these agents tell… I stayed the course, being honest and working hard. I want to thank [Darius Leonard] for sticking with me when he didn’t have to, and for putting himself in this position, and allowing me to execute.”
Kawa added, “I was told I should stick to mma… I was told I could never do this because I wasn’t a ‘big agent’ I was told that I didn’t have enough power… ultimately, I kept my head down and knew the truth… no matter how much other agents lied to these kids, I knew one would give me the chance and id get to show the world the truth. The power lies with you fellas: work hard, be great, get paid. There’s no magic or secret sauce. I did it. Darius did it. God bless you boys, and God bless Darius Leonard. The highest paid ilb in NFL history.”
Darius Leonard is obviously in a celebratory mood as well. Taking to his own social media, the NFL star could be seen skipping through the halls of the Indianapolis Colts practice facility. Leoanrd also posted an adorable video while singing a duet with his daughter about getting that money.