Along with Russell Wilson, quarterback Andrew Luck is the most notable player eligible for an extension for the first time this offseason, but it doesn’t sound like the Colts are in a rush to finalize a new deal for the former first overall pick. Colts owner Jim Irsay told reporters today that his team likely won’t address Luck’s contract until next offseason, tweets Mike Wells of ESPN.com.
Luck, 25, has led the Colts to three consecutive 11-5 seasons since entering the league in 2012, and established new career highs in 2014 with 4,761 passing yards and 40 touchdowns. He also led the team to a pair of postseason wins this winter, reaching the AFC Championship game against the Patriots. In other words, the young signal-caller has done nothing but prove that he’s in line for a mega-deal, and there’s a possibility his next contract makes him the highest-paid player in football.
Still, from the Colts’ perspective, there’s plenty of time to get something done. Because he was a first-round pick, Luck – unlike Wilson – has a fifth-year option for 2016 attached to his rookie contract. Barring an unexpected extension within the next few weeks, Indianapolis will exercise that option, locking up Luck for the ’16 campaign. The team would then also have the franchise tag in its back pocket for the 2017 and 2018 seasons, so there’s no risk of Luck hitting the open market for a while.
Of course, there’s no reason to play hardball with a player expected to be the face of the franchise for at least the next decade, so even if the Colts don’t delve into serious discussions about an extension this offseason, there’s no reason to think the team won’t make it a priority a year from now. I’d be surprised if Luck ultimately plays the 2016 season on his fifth-year option salary ($16.155MM).
When Luck and the Colts do work out a new deal, it could set a new benchmark for NFL quarterbacks. With the salary cap on the rise in recent years, a salary in the neighborhood of $25MM per year – or higher – appears realistic for the Stanford product.