The 2015 season was a tough one for Colts quarterback Andrew Luck. He was forced to miss nine games due to injury. When he did play, he was hardly at his best — thanks to said injury. Despite the lackluster season, the Colts have expressed a strong desire to hang on to Luck.
Colts owner Jim Irsay made his intentions clear in a statement to WISH-TV during a recent interview, saying, “Andrew is going to be here. [It’s] just a matter of time before we talk about this new contract.”
“The money is going to get paid out alright, it’s just a matter of who it goes to. So, it’s going to be a big number, it’s going to be a shocking number and all those things.”
What does Irsay mean about a “shocking number?” Well, the Colts are determined to keep Andrew Luck who, despite an unfortunate injury, is still considered a highly valuable quarterback. To keep Luck, the Colts are reportedly prepared to make him the top-paid player in the entire NFL. Business Insider referred to the nine-figure contracts signed by quarterbacks Eli Manning and Philip Rivers by way of example. The site also shared a chart featuring the top NFL contracts at present.
Based on these numbers, it looks like any contract extension granted to Andrew is set to be extremely lucrative. Jim Irsay seems to agree with that notion.
“[Andrew Luck’s pay] going to be […] nine figures and probably a 20 [million] starting point per year, but again we will find the right number to get to.”
So what’s it going to take to make Andrew a top paid quarterback? Well, there is one major factor that will determine the nature of Luck’s upcoming payday.
According to Jim, the Colts need to determine how reliable a player Andrew will be in the future before hashing out the extension details. After all, he is coming off a horrible injury that left him sidelined and ineffective during most of the 2015-16 season.
It’s also important to note that it was a critical injury that did the same to Peyton Manning during his final season with the Colts. That season marked the worst in franchise history before Manning actually signed. The Colts can’t risk building itself around a quarterback like Luck unless it means they’ll avoid those type of scenarios. Irsay himself hinted that this might be the one concern that could hold up a contract agreement.
“I think really the question again remains is how can you build that roster around [Luck], and I think that you have seen quarterbacks, franchise quarterbacks, through the years be unselfish and make sure they realize, ‘Hey, if I eat up X amount of this cap, how are we going to put together a championship football team?'”
Andrew Luck will probably be the type of quarterback to put aside huge pay to build a winning team. Business Insider suggested it was also possible the Colts might pay Luck the majority of the money upfront to avoid cap issues in future seasons.
Perhaps the best news ahead of a contract extension is that the Colts quarterback has reportedly completely healed from the kidney injury that held him back much of last year. It’s hard not to flinch when you see clips like the one below, revealing how much pain Andrew was playing through.
While such behavior is frustrating as a fan — you want your players to only ever play as healthy as possible — that type of dedication certainly suggests Andrew Luck is a player worth keeping around. Well, that and the fact that on his best days, Luck is a force to be reckoned with. A fully healed Andrew Luck will hopefully have a much better season in 2016 than he did in 2015.
A nine-figure contract extension would the cherry on top.
[Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images]