NFL Rumors: Colts Won't Recoup $24.8M from Andrew Luck Despite RetirementAugust 25, 2019
The Indianapolis Colts agreed to allow quarterback Andrew Luck to keep $24.8 million in bonus money they could have recouped after he announced his retirement Saturday.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday that the Colts agreed last week to not force Luck to repay any of his $32 million signing bonus or a $12 million roster bonus he was paid in March. Luck could have been forced to repay $12.8 million of the signing bonus and the full roster bonus.
The 2018 Comeback Player of the Year announced his retirement Saturday, citing mental fatigue from fighting through numerous injuries during his seven-year career. He had dealt with a leg injury that kept him out for most of the Colts' offseason program and training camp.
"I've been stuck in this process," Luck told reporters in an emotional press conference. "I haven't been able to live the life I want to live. It's taken the joy out of this game ... the only way forward for me is to remove myself from football.
"This is not an easy decision. It's the hardest decision of my life. But it is the right decision for me."
Luck, who missed the 2017 season due to a shoulder injury, threw for 4,593 yards and 39 touchdowns against 15 interceptions last year. After seemingly struggling to find his rhythm for the first three weeks of the season, Luck then threw for at least three touchdowns in eight straight starts. With their quarterback in elite form, the Colts finished the regular season with nine wins in their last 10 games and advanced to the second round of the playoffs.
Colts owner Jim Irsay expressed his support for Luck following the announcement, indicating he's leaving even more money on the table.
"It's a tough thing, look it, he's leaving $450 million on the table potentially," Irsay said. "I mean, a half a billion dollars, and he's saying, 'You know what, I want to have my integrity. I have to be able to look [wide receiver] T.Y. [Hilton] in the eye, look my teammates, look Coach [Frank Reich], look [GM] Chris [Ballard] and say, I'm all-in,' and he just didn't feel he could do that."
Allowing Luck to keep his money could keep the relationship between the quarterback and team strong. The Detroit Lions alienated Calvin Johnson when they forced him to pay back some of the bonus money given to him when he retired after the 2015 season. It's clear Irsay does not want any animosity between Luck and the Colts—especially in the event he decides to make a comeback.