After being selected No. 1 overall by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2012 NFL draft, Andrew Luck has already established himself as the team's franchise quarterback in two seasons. The Colts have been busy adding talent around Luck, but at the same time they're going to have to start thinking about what they're going to be paying the 24-year-old after his rookie contract is up.
According to Spotrac, Luck is right in the middle of his rookie contract of just over $22.1 million over four years, with the contract expiring after the 2015 season. While he's still set to make more than $13 million over the next two seasons, it's safe to say that Luck will likely be expecting a much bigger payday in his next contract.
It may be a couple of seasons away, but the Colts are likely already beginning to plan on re-signing Luck to a much larger deal, and are likely trying to determine how much he will be worth.
Back in January, I took a look at how much the starting quarterbacks during the 2013 season were really worth in an article for Bleacher Report, using Football Outsiders' DVOA metric to determine their values solely based off of regular season performance. Based off of these calculations, I found that Luck would have been worth around $7.7 million in 2013 if only looking at regular season numbers.
However, there are obviously more factors in play than what Luck did in his 16 regular season games. He was able to help turn a 2-14 team into a franchise that has made the playoffs in both of his first two seasons, even winning a postseason game this past season against the Kansas City Chiefs.
As the face of the franchise, fans will have no problem with the Colts paying Luck big money, but he's not the only player the team will have to try to bring back in the near future. Players like T.Y. Hilton, Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener will all be free agents after the 2015 season, and if Luck wants them all to come back, then he might have to take a little less.
In order to determine what Luck's next contract will look like, it makes sense to look at some of the recent star QBs that received big contracts. Jay Cutler was one of the more recent quarterbacks to get paid, getting a seven-year deal worth $126.7 million to stay with the Chicago Bears. Before the 2013 season, Aaron Rodgers signed a deal worth $110 million over five years, averaging $22 million in salary per season.
Luck isn't on the same level as Rodgers as of right now, but with a couple more seasons under his belt, he'll likely be close. I think that Cutler's contract is a bit more realistic for Luck, although I expect his average salary to be a bit higher.
The Colts are going to want to lock up their quarterback for a while, so don't be surprised if they try to get him to sign an extension for around six years and $120 million.