It’s official: Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is staying put. As ESPN reports, the Colts announced on Wednesday that it successfully negotiated a contract extension with Luck – a historic one at that.
“Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay stuck to his word and secured franchise quarterback Andrew Luck’s long-term future with the organization before the start of the 2016 season. The Colts announced Wednesday that Luck has signed an extension through the 2021 season that will make him the highest-paid player in the NFL, based on guaranteed salary.”
Andrew’s contract is worth $140 million, and it comes with a record guaranteed payout of $87 million. Before this landmark deal, the best quarterback contract belonged to Green Bay’s 2013 agreement with Aaron Rodgers. It was reportedly worth $110 million.
Colts owner Jim Irsay couldn’t resist hopping on Twitter to gush about the deal.
There was quite a bit of reaction on social media from Luck’s teammates as well.
As for Andrew Luck himself, he was humble and grateful in his official statement.
“I am thrilled and excited to continue with this great organization. I am thankful to the Irsay family and Mr. Irsay for providing me with this great opportunity and the trust that they’ve shown in me. I can’t wait for this season to start.”
Despite the happiness that Luck and Irsay feel about the deal, there are some who are scratching their heads. No doubt the most puzzled by the historic NFL contract are those who were less than impressed with Andrew during the 2015-16 season. There’s no denying it; this past year was a rough one for Luck. The Colts quarterback was forced to miss two games early in the season due to a rib injury. Luck was later out for a seven-game stretch thanks to a lacerated kidney.
Andrew Luck’s in-game performances suffered as well due to repeatedly playing injured.
Despite previous setbacks, the Indianapolis Colts are willing to look beyond one terrible season. Naysayers seem to forget that prior to his poor spell, Andrew Luck showed quite a bit of promise. The Stanford graduate managed to do what, at the time, many deemed impossible: seamlessly replace veteran quarterback (and franchise cornerstone) Peyton Manning.
The Colts qualified in the playoffs during Luck’s first three seasons, repeatedly finishing with 11-5 records. Had it not been for a problem with injuries, there’s no telling how things would have gone for Luck and the Colts during the 2015-16 season.
As for the season ahead, the USA Today affiliate Indy Star quoted Andrew Luck as promising to be more careful with his body in 2016.
Luck has shown he has record-breaking potential, and the Colts are eyeing a long-term relationship with the 26-year-old NFL star. In addition to the hefty contract, Indianapolis has invested in promising new offensive talent that will hopefully provide Andrew with some much-needed protection.
Unfortunately, even this level of maneuvering by the Colts might not be quite enough. Many agree that the AFC team’s defense is a major concern, with a habit of needlessly giving away points. The issue forces Andrew Luck and the offensive to work that much harder to make up the difference, and thus significantly increases his exposure to unnecessary injury risks.
No doubt Colts fans hope the franchise has done enough in securing Andrew Luck and drafting new players to see vast improvements in both the short- and long-term. There are hopes that, as with Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck will be able to guide his team to a successful Super Bowl appearance. For that to happen, there must be some serious change. Getting the offense sorted out is only half the battle; time will tell how the Colts defense holds up.
Still, spending so much money on Andrew Luck and investing in the offensive line at least shows a sincere commitment to improving the Colts brand. As for Andrew Luck, this big payday could certainly put a considerable amount of pressure on him to help make this happen.
At first glance, one might consider him “lucky” to receive such a historic sum of money. However, when one receives that kind of contract, there is an expectation that one proves themselves worthy of such a generous investment. Andrew Luck will be no doubt be motivated to excel and prove that last season was an unfortunate fluke.
[AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File]