With Andrew Luck currently attached to a $16.155MM salary due to the Colts exercising their quarterback’s fifth-year option in 2014, the negotiation’s for Luck’s second contract will be the most interesting in the league this summer. In surveying almost 10 NFL personnel sources, ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler said the consensus for Luck’s per-year total is between $23-$25MM.
Joe Flacco and Aaron Rodgers are the league’s only $22MM-AAV players, but it’s expected Indianapolis’ 26-year-old passer will surpass this mark and set a new standard for NFL salaries. Jim Irsay has already boasted about the number this contract will produce, and the owner remains committed to finishing this extension before the season starts.
Considering the supply-and-demand issue affecting the quarterback market right now, Fowler notes Luck has the leverage in this negotiation despite coming off his worst season as a pro.
Here’s the latest from around the AFC.
- Rookie UDFA linebacker Curt Maggitt chose the Colts over other suitors because of their need at the position and a rapport with outside linebackers coach Brad White at the Combine, Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star reports. The former Tennessee ‘backer has veterans nearing the end in front of him in Robert Mathis and Trent Cole, along with Erik Walden and seventh-round rookie Trevor Bates. Maggitt finished the 2014 season with 11 sacks for the Vols, but injury issues limited him to two games last season.
- Not exactly known as a savvy drafting organization at the dawn of this decade, the Raiders were apparently ahead of the curve on the player who may be the best offensive talent in the game today. An Oakland scout called Rob Gronkowski the “best all-around player” in that draft class, as a Reddit user, /u/Mattyuh, obtained the Raiders’ 2010 draft binder (h/t USAToday.com). The Raiders, who don’t have anyone left from a draft that included Rolando McClain, Lamarr Houston and Jared Veldheer, took McClain in the first round but saw the then-injury-prone Arizona tight end go to the Patriots at No. 42 — two spots before their selected Houston. The Raiders’ scouting reports on Dez Bryant, Earl Thomas and Demaryius Thomas are also included in this interesting unearthing.
- After signing Cordy Glenn to a long-term deal earlier this week, Tyrod Taylor and Stephon Gilmore are next in the Bills‘ extension queue. Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News writes that the Bills want to sign their bargain-buy quarterback and standout corner to keep them in Buffalo. Glenn’s extension brought his cap number down to $6.2MM for 2016, leaving the Bills with more than $13.7MM in cap space. The No. 10 pick in 2012, Gilmore’s $11.08MM salary for ’16 is considerably higher than Taylor’s ($3.13MM cap hold). Taylor, who Carucci thinks should hold out for Brock Osweiler money ($18MM AAV) in the forthcoming negotiations, will be a free agent after this season.
- Although the Bills‘ financial attention is now on new deals for Gilmore and Taylor, they would look to add help at wide receiver more than any other position in the late stages of free agency, Carucci writes. Percy Harvin‘s retirement and the Patriots signing Chris Hogan to an offer sheet that went unmatched leave the Bills thin behind Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods. Marquise Goodwin may miss some of training camp should he qualify for the Rio Summer Olympic Games in the long jump — the top three long jumpers at the U.S. Trials advance — and the Bills only drafted Kolby Listenbee in the sixth round. Beyond the obvious veterans available — Marques Colston, Roddy White — James Jones and Jason Avant loom as slightly younger veteran alternatives.