After more than a year of negotiating and questions begging as to when a deal might actually be done, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay announced a new record deal with Pro Bowl quarterback Andrew Luck that will run through the 2021 season.
$140 Million over 6 Years... Biggest Contract in NFL History... Congrats to #12!!!
— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) June 29, 2016
On his 5-year extension, #Colts QB Andrew Luck is now the highest paid player in the NFL, source said. Puts him over Joe Flacco's $22.1M.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 29, 2016
Andrew Luck gets a $32M signing bonus, $12 million salary in 2016 and a $3M 2017 roster bonus that's guaranteed at signing.
— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) June 29, 2016
Luck surpasses Washington's Kirk Cousins at $19.9 million and the New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees at $19.6 million for the highest base salary among quarterbacks and all other players next season, according to Spotrac.com. The reference to the Baltimore Ravens' Joe Flacco involves average compensation over the life of the contract.
Luck, who has posted a 35-20 record as a starter and completed 58.1 percent of his passes for 14,838 yards and 101 touchdowns, was entering the final year of his rookie contract. The 26-year-old, who was No. 1 overall pick during his draft year, was scheduled to make $16.1 million in the upcoming 2016 season.
Irsay did stay true to his word and reached a deal before July 4. He told reporters at the NFL owner’s meetings in March that he intended to have a new contract ironed out before the holiday and that it would be a “shocking” deal.
"It's going to be a big number," Irsay said. "It's going to be a shocking number, nine figures and probably a $20 million starting point per year, but again, we will find the right number to get to."
Negotiations have reportedly gone on over the last year or so, and they likely dragged over compensation commensurate with that of the NFL’s other top young quarterbacks.
It's likely that Luck and his agent, Will Wilson, were negotiating a deal similar to or in excess of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and the Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton.
Wilson inked a four-year, $87.6 million extension before the 2015 season, a deal which included $61.5 million in guarantees. Newton agreed to an even richer $103.8 million extension over five years, but he received $60 million in guarantees.
Luck struggled and, at times, played through serious injuries last season, appearing in only seven games due to a tear in his throwing shoulder; rib and abdominal injuries; and a lacerated kidney after several vicious hits early in the 2015 campaign.
Luck admitted in April to the Colts official website that he still hasn’t fully healed from the injuries.
"No, I still l have some work to do certainly," Luck said. "That being said, you're always working to get better. You're always working to feel better. You're always working to be in better shape, to be more physically fit, so that's still a process."