Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has today agreed a new deal worth $139m over 6 years, with $87m in guaranteed money. Luck was taken number one overall in the 2012 draft, having been the runner up for the Heisman Trpophy 2010 and 2011 whilst playing at Stanford. Since then he has played to a high level, consistently leading the Colts to the playoffs, with a particular highlight being the 2013 Wild Card game against the Kansas City Chiefs, where he led the team to the largest regulation comeback in NFL history.
The year prior, however, Luck was the passing TD leader in the NFL, having formed a fierce partnership with wide receiver TY Hilton. He has so far in his young career been named to the Pro Bowl three times, and in 2014 had the honor of once more being selected first overall, by Deion Sanders.
Luck has many attributes which make him worth every penny of this deal, but there are concerns about his level of play in the 2015 season, one where he was riddled with injury. There are even some fans who argue that this represents him being overpaid. This is $22m more in guaranteed money than any previous deal in NFL history, and the largest in terms of overall compensation. Luck is, however, the cornerstone of the Colts franchise, and represents the modern NFL attitude towards the quarterback position – If you haven’t got one, you haven’t got a whole lot.
Is Andrew Luck Tom Brady or Peyton Manning? No. Can he be? The Colts seem to think so. He has all the potential to lead the Colts for the next six years with regular playoff appearances though, and that is what will be asked now he has been given this money. He can be fully expected to do so, too, with his ability to move both in and outside the pocket, his accuracy and his attitude which represents the very best of what the NFL has to offer.
This deal may well present problems, however, for teams such as the Oakland Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars, whose young quarterbacks are developing into the league’s next superstars. Derek Carr and Blake Bortles’ value on the market is now going to be inflated in sight of both this deal and the deal given to Russell Wilson last year by the Seahawks.
Add in Washington’s Kirk Cousins to the mix and the quarterback situation over the next couple of years becomes very interesting, discounting, of course, the disappointing 2013 class which gave us EJ Manuel and Geno Smith as its standout names.
Should we really be surprised at the deal given to Luck? No. The number simply represents the value of the quarterback to the modern NFL team.