We've fully expected that it was coming for a while, but ESPN's Adam Schefter reported this afternoon that the Colts are working on a massive contract for Andrew Luck that will pay him roughly $25 million a year.
Many around the league expect a completed deal would make Luck the highest-paid player in the game, at a figure that could be right around $25 million per year.
Conversations between Luck and the Colts have been ongoing, even though nothing can be finalized until the start of the new league year March 10.
It's been clear for a while that the Colts would make Luck the highest paid player in the NFL, and most (including myself) assumed that it would come this offseason, as would Seahawks' quarterback Russell Wilson's new contract. Of course, as Schefter noted, the contract cannot become official until the start of the new league year on March 10, but it's expected that the deal will be finished right around that time so that the Colts can set a clear direction in free agency, already knowing the details of Luck's contract.
This will easily be the biggest deal of Ryan Grigson's tenure as general manager, and him, cap specialist Mike Bluem, and others in the Colts' front office have the fine line to walk in paying their superstar young quarterback and building around him. No longer will Grigson be able to pay out big contracts to free agents - for the foreseeable future, that cap room will be largely devoted to re-signing their own. Because while Luck will be and deserves to be the first one re-signed and he'll receive a huge deal, the Colts also have other players to re-sign, such as T.Y. Hilton, Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen, and others.
Bottom line is this: Luck deserves to be paid. You can talk about how you want him to take a discount for the Colts, but they got him for the first three years for super cheap thanks to the new rookie wage scale. Plus, he's 25-years old - now is the time to get as much money as possible. Then, toward the end of his career he might opt to take a little less to build the team, but that doesn't matter now - he should take as much money as he can and he deserves to. Because, while it stinks that the Colts will have to start paying Luck a lot, everyone (including the Colts) have known that it was coming and were preparing for it, and ultimately it's a lot of money that presents problems regarding building a team, but it's not nearly as big of a problem as not having a great quarterback at all is.