The Colts got Andrew Luck for a bargain thanks to the rookie salary reductions in the last Collective Bargaining Agreement, and the team is in no hurry to give its franchise quarterback a raise.
Colts owner Jim Irsay told the Indianapolis Star that a contract extension for Luck won’t come until 2016 at the earliest.
“Not right now,” Irsay said. “I think that’ll be a focus of next offseason that we’ll address. Andrew still has two years left, and whatever our talks are between Andrew and his people will remain confidential. It’s not like we don’t have conversations about a possibility, so to speak, of something. But I really think most likely the scenario is most likely going to be going into the offseason next year is when that second contract will come up. That’s the vision I have right now.”
Whether Luck agrees with that vision or not remains to be seen. It could be that Luck will decide next year that with just one more year until free agency, he’d rather play out his contract and see what he can get once he’s a free agent in 2017. Of course, Luck won’t actually be a “free” agent because the Colts would surely use the exclusive-rights franchise tag on him. The flip side is, Luck could refuse to sign anything less than the richest contract in NFL history in 2017, and tell the Colts that if they’re not willing to give him that, they’re not going to have him as their quarterback.
But that’s a long way off. First, Luck will play this year for a $3.4 million salary. Then the Colts will pick up his 2016 option, which means he would play next year for a $16.2 million salary. Only in 2017 could things start to get contentious. Irsay sounds confident that he can wait another year to do a deal for Luck and still get something done before 2017.