The Indianapolis Colts have a franchise quarterback, and they aren't letting him get away anytime soon.
The team announced Wednesday it agreed to a new contract with superstar Andrew Luck:
Colts owner Jim Irsay tweeted the deal runs through the 2021 season. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported it makes Luck the league's highest-paid player, adding he'll receive $75 million over the first three years of the pact and "slightly less" over the final two. Before signing the new contract, Luck was set to make $16.155 million in base salary in 2016, per Spotrac.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the six-year deal will pay "just north of" $139 million and $87 million in guaranteed money, both of which are league records. Dan Graziano of ESPN added that Luck will receive a $32 million signing bonus and a $3 million roster bonus in 2017 that was guaranteed at signing.
"I am thrilled to continue with this great organization. I am thankful to the Irsay family and Mr. Irsay," Luck said after the announcement, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
"It was a deal that was a fair deal for both sides, taking into account being cap-friendly, being reasonable in the last year also," Irsay added, per Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star.
|Biggest Contracts in 2016|
Luck, a three-time Pro Bowler and dual-threat option, led the NFL with 40 touchdown passes in 2014 and finished third with 4,761 passing yards.
In Luck's first three seasons, the Colts went 11-5 each time; they were 2-14 the year before he arrived. The team also improved each year in the postseason, culminating in 2014 with a trip to the AFC Championship Game.
In 2015, however, Luck struggled to stay healthy. He missed the first two games with an injured shoulder and saw his season come to an end due to a lacerated kidney and a partially torn abdominal muscle. During the seven games he played, he threw 14 touchdowns to 12 interceptions and completed the lowest percentage of passes (55.3) since his rookie campaign.
The team struggled in his absence, missing the playoffs for the first time in four years.
Luck told Mike Wells of ESPN.com this in August after Russell Wilson signed an $87.6 million deal: "Hopefully, I'll get a new contract. As a sports fan, yeah, you pay attention to the news that comes across the ticker or what have you. As far as it affects how you approach football, I don't think that's it at all."
Luck deserves to be the league's highest-paid player if he can remain healthy. He took the Colts to the playoffs in each of his first three seasons and racked up 12,957 passing yards in the process. No quarterback in league history threw for as many yards during the first three years of a career.
Luck will also only turn 27 during the 2016 campaign. Additionally, he's the primary reason Indianapolis has remained competitive after the Peyton Manning era.
There was no chance the team was letting Luck go anywhere else.