All signs seem to be pointing toward the Colts and quarterback Andrew Luck reaching a long-term contract extension this offseason.
Luck still has one year left on his deal, as the Colts picked up his fifth-year option that comes with being a first round pick. That gives the two sides time to work something out, but the timetable is clearly set on this offseason. Owner Jim Irsay reiterated that on Tuesday when talking with ESPN's Mike Wells, as he said the extension could very well come this year.
"Obviously being this early, there's no reason to think that we would have had major negotiations yet, but that's going to be happening as this month gets later and March comes in and all that sort of thing," Irsay said. "I think there's a good chance we'll get something done."
Irsay also added some details on the expected contract, suggesting it will be nine-figures.
"Whether it's going to be the highest and all those sort of thing, we'll see how that goes," Irsay said. "I see Andrew here, God willing, for a really long time, and this won't be his last contract. With him at 26 years old, it's going to be ringing the bell in terms of nine figures and that sort of thing."
Irsay also added that it's crucial that the Colts make it a cap-friendly deal so that they can surround the quarterback with enough talent to win a championship, so the owner noted that the structure is important - such as, say, the ability to alter it moving forward to help with cap issues if they arise.
A guideline for Luck's deal could come in the form of Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who was the first overall pick the year before Luck. The Panthers re-signed Newton to a five-year, $103.8 million deal with $60 million guaranteed and a $22.5 million signing bonus. With Newton's deal being nine-figures, then, it should come as no surprise that Luck's likely will as well. It's unclear whether the deal will make Luck the highest-paid player, but it should be a massive deal and Jim Irsay is already preparing for that. The part about Irsay saying that this won't be Luck's last contract either raises another point. Newton's five-year deal allows him to sign another huge contract in his prime, and I'd expect something similar for Luck. So I do think that Newton's deal can serve as a nice guideline for Luck's deal, and it sounds like Irsay is treating it as such by suggesting nine-figures and a second contract later on.
Regardless of how much the deal ends up being for, the Colts will have Andrew Luck around for the foreseeable future and hope to make that official this offseason with a long-term extension.