The Indianapolis Colts struck gold when they happened to the worst record in 2011 and then drafted once-in-a-decade talent Andrew Luck, but the future of their franchise quarterback could now be in doubt.
This week, the team’s owner Jim Irsay shared his vision for Luck’s future — which doesn’t involve an immediate contract extension.
Irsay said he doesn’t have plans to offer Luck a new contract in 2015.
“Not right now,” Irsay told the Indianapolis Star. “I think that’ll be a focus of next offseason that we’ll address. Andrew still has two years left, and whatever our talks are between Andrew and his people will remain confidential. It’s not like we don’t have conversations about a possibility, so to speak, of something. But I really think most likely the scenario is most likely going to be going into the offseason next year is when that second contract will come up. That’s the vision I have right now.”
The approach will allow Irsay to keep Luck on his rookie contract for longer and keep more money in his pocket, but as ProFootballTalk points out, it could be quite risky, as well. The report noted that Luck could choose to play out his contract and hit free agency in 2017.
The report noted the following.
“Of course, Luck won’t actually be a ‘free’ agent because the Colts would surely use the exclusive-rights franchise tag on him. The flip side is, Luck could refuse to sign anything less than the richest contract in NFL history in 2017, and tell the Colts that if they’re not willing to give him that, they’re not going to have him as their quarterback.”
It may not get to that point, however. The NFL has become such a quarterback-driven league that another team could very likely step in to pay a price that Irsay isn’t willing to. The Buffalo Bills could be a strong candidate, a team that has been lacking a franchise quarterback for more than a decade and has a new owner in Terry Pegula who is willing to spend whatever it takes to get back to relevance.
Jim Irsay could also be taking a risk that the team remains on good terms with its quarterback. While there are no rumors of tension between the Indianapolis Colts and Andrew Luck right now, a lot can change in two years, especially after the team’s owner just publicly said he doesn’t want to give his quarterback a well-deserved raise.
[Image via USA Today]