The Indianapolis Colts have spent several months working on a contract extension for their quarterback Andrew Luck. Today finally saw the negotiations come to an end as Luck signed a contract extension far bigger than what most people had expected.
Yes, expectations were deservedly high for the 26-year old quarterback’s new contract. But it’s doubtful that many experts would have predicted a deal like this one. Luck signed a $140 million contract for six years with $87 million guaranteed, a deal that is a little shocking even by today’s quarterback standards. Not only is he the highest paid quarterback currently in the NFL, but he is also the highest paid player of all time.
This comes off as a little shocking primarily because of Luck’s down season in 2015. Luck suffered a lacerated kidney late last season, which resulted in him making just seven starts. Even in those starts, he didn’t seem to be the same quarterback as the team went 2-5 with him under center and he totaled 15 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
That’s a far cry from the Luck that both Colts fans and NFL fans have become accustomed to seeing. Just one year prior, Luck led the entire NFL in passing touchdowns (40) and he led his team to their third consecutive 11-5 season. Luck also displayed brilliance in leading the Colts all the way to the AFC Championship that season, a playoff run that was made even sweeter by the fact that he knocked off former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning’s new team in the divisional round of the playoffs.
Clearly by choosing to pay him so much, the Colts are choosing to write off last season as an aberration. Which is very understandable, given Luck’s track record. As a rookie, he took a team that had been 2-14 and made them a playoff squad. His first three seasons all resulted in playoff berths and actually each year, the Colts went one round further in the playoffs.
Yet it hasn’t been all good for Luck. He’s struggled with two big things during his time in the NFL: turning the ball over and getting sacked. Luck’s interception numbers from 2012-2015 look like this: 18, 9, 16, 12. He actually was leading the league in interceptions all the way up till Week 11, even though he played his final game in Week 7.
Luck has also taken far too many hits during his short career. A total of 115 sacks in just four seasons. He needs to be kept upright and to not let injuries affect his play again, if he’s to live up to this new contract.
To be clear, Luck as of now is not playing like the best quarterback in the NFL. No one can truly say that he is currently as good as Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton and Ben Roethlisberger. This contract is really all about potential.
Luck does have the potential to come back from 2015 and play at the high level he usually plays at. He will have to return to at least that level to justify the contract and to get Colts fans the Super Bowl win they so desire.
The pressure is now on. The only question left now is do the Colts feel lucky?