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Colts’ Andrew Luck is one of the highest-paid athletes in the world for 2017

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NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is the highest-paid player in the NFL, and as a result he’s also one of the highest-paid athletes in the world.

In Forbes’ ranking of the highest-paid athletes of 2017, Luck came in sixth with a pay of $50 million. That includes $47 million in salary and $3 million in endorsements. Luck is the highest-paid NFL player on the list, with the next-closest being Saints quarterback Drew Brees at number eleven. Additionally, Luck was ranked as the 37th highest-paid celebrity by Forbes.

Among the athletes, Luck is behind only Cristiano Ronaldo, LeBron James, Lionel Messi, Roger Federer, and Kevin Durant, while he is tied for sixth with Rory McIlroy. When it comes to the salary/winnings portion of the earnings, Luck’s $47 million is behind only Ronaldo ($58M) and Messi ($53M).

Luck signed last summer, which means that his new contract and his signing bonus all count within the past 12 months, which is the span Forbes looks at. So, as Forbes wrote, “Quarterback Andrew Luck heads the newcomers on the list, tied at No. 6 with $50 million after signing a $123 million contract extension last summer with a $32 million signing bonus.” So that signing bonus and his new contract helped him land very high on this list.

While Luck is very highly-paid (and deservingly so), his cap hit really isn’t killing the Colts. In fact, in 2017 he’ll have a cap hit of just $19.4 million, which isn’t bad at all. That number increases to a cap hit of $24.4 million in 2018 and keeps rising in 2019 and 2020 before falling a bit in the final year of his contract, 2021. So even though he’s the highest-paid player in the NFL, it won’t really seem like it in 2017 from a salary cap perspective.

Luck has been impressive during his tenure with the Colts, as in five seasons he has completed 59.2% of his passes for 19,078 yards (7.2 yards per attempt) and 132 touchdowns against 68 interceptions, good for a passer rating of 87.3. He has also rushed for 1,442 yards and 14 touchdowns while averaging 5.0 yards per carry. He has been terrific, earning three Pro Bowl nods and notching three 4,000-yard seasons. If the Colts can surround Luck with good supporting talent, the future is bright in Indianapolis.