The Indianapolis Colts rewarded their franchise quarterback Andrew Luck with a record NFL contract on Wednesday.
The six-year deal, which will keep the former Stanford great in a Colts uniform through 2021, is worth $140 million. He is reportedly guaranteed $87 million in the deal.
We're pretty excited to have this guy on our roster for years to come! pic.twitter.com/pfgpN9RfMK
— Carlie Irsay (@cirsay) June 29, 2016
Colts Owner Jim Irsay congratulated Luck on Twitter:
$140 Million over 6 Years… Biggest Contract in NFL History… Congrats to #12!!!
— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) June 29, 2016
Irsay added in a statement: “This is an exciting day for the organization and Colts fans around the globe. Andrew is the consummate professional, possesses extraordinary talent and is our leader on and off the field. When you consider what this team has accomplished in four seasons with Andrew under center, you cannot help but be thrilled about the future.”
Luck said he is “thrilled and excited to continue with this great organization.”
“I am thankful to the Irsay family and Mr. Irsay for providing me with this great opportunity and the trust that they’ve shown in me. I can’t wait for this season to start,” he added.
Only Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will average more than $22 million a year in salary.
Luck, the no. 1 pick in the 2012 draft, missed nine games last year after suffering a lacerated kidney. He made three consecutive Pro Bowls to start his career. Though he had his worst statistical year last year due his injuries and the Colts poor offensive line, Irsay said Luck’s 2015 season “didn’t factor into the negotiations.”
“We never even suggested it as leverage. We didn’t go there,” Irsay reportedly said. “We’re very blessed to have him and he’s very excited to be a Colt.”
The humble Stanford alum was still using a flip phone when he entered the NFL.
And he recently joined Twitter to promote his book club.
— Stanford Football (@StanfordFball) April 25, 2016
“I’ve been called the unofficial librarian of the Colts, which is kind of cheesy,” Luck told ESPN. “But the truth is that I love to read both fiction and nonfiction and I feel strongly about the power of reading. So I thought, ‘Why not start a real book club?’”
Like Phil Jackson, Luck has been known to hand out good reads to teammates.
Irsay reportedly said Luck, who helped the organization seamless transition from the Peyton Manning era, was “very deserving.”
“You can’t underestimate how important it’s been to get this deal done quietly and successfully,” he reportedly said, adding that the deal was a “fair deal” for both sides.
Local media outlets like the Indianapolis Star praised Luck, saying the deal is a “win-win” for both sides:
Entering negotiations, Luck held as much leverage as any player in league history. He could’ve asked for any number he wanted. If the Colts weren’t willing to pay it, another team would’ve. But Luck wanted to stay. He wants to keep building here. He wants to write a legacy in Indianapolis. By signing for slightly south of the projected $25 million annual salary Luck could’ve commanded, the deal offers the Colts some semblance of salary cap flexibility they’ll need in the years to come. … In other words, Luck could’ve killed the Colts with this deal. He didn’t.