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Jim Irsay hoping for “Colts-friendly” deal with Andrew Luck

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NFL: Indianapolis Colts-Minicamp Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

You don’t have to tell Jim Irsay about how much money he’s going to be paying to Andrew Luck over the coming years: he already knows. The owner has already said this offseason that he expects it to be a massive nine-figure deal that includes shocking numbers, and the Colts and Luck’s representatives are getting closer and closer to that deal.

Luck has all of the leverage, and the Colts are going to pay him like the franchise quarterback he is - with a deal that could very well be the largest in NFL history. “[Andrew] came out yesterday and said he liked my sunglasses, I said, ‘Do you want those too?’” Irsay joked on Wednesday night. The point being: Irsay knows the contract for Luck is going to be a huge number. But the owner also knows that the deal can’t cripple the franchise.

"Obviously his uncle, Will [Wilson)], is a lawyer and has represented him from the beginning,” Irsay explained. “So we have a great relationship and I see something getting done. It’s not easy, it’s obviously going to be a big number and we want to make sure the contract is something that is Colts-friendly as we approach even the next decade.”

Signing a deal that is Colts-friendly but at the same time fair to Andrew Luck won’t be easy, however, and it will take a lot of flexibility from both sides to make it work.

“No question,” Irsay agreed. “I think there has been a really good element of compromise. Both sides, look we went into it knowing that this is going to be a big contract, a big deal and all those things. We didn’t hide any cards that way and so I think there has been compromise on both sides. I really do. I would be surprised if we don’t have something done before training camp.”

The key will be how the Colts structure the contract, as they need to be able to have enough room to retain enough talent and build a competitive team around Luck. With their current cap situation both now and in future years they very easily could do that, especially with a rising salary cap. But it’s important for the team to be thinking through that aspect of it, because they don't want to get into a situation where Luck’s cap number could cripple the team - like Drew Brees’ number has for the Saints, for instance. The two sides need to find that middle ground, and every expectation is that they will at some point this offseason. It will still be a massive contract and could make Luck the highest paid player, but it also won't cripple the Colts financially.