ESPN: Andrew Luck Could Push NFL’s Barrier for More Guaranteed Money
According to ESPN NFL Nation’s Kevin Seifert, it’s possible that Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck could request for more guaranteed money in his new deal and thus, push the NFL’s contract barrier to rival some of the mega-guaranteed dollar deals that other professional leagues like the NBA have recently handed out.
Luck is set to play on the last year of his original rookie contract this season, which will pay him $3.4 million for 2015, but the team has also picked up his $16.155 million team option for 2016. It’s the year following in 2017, where Seifert projects that things could get rather interesting regarding Luck’s requested guaranteed dollars:
"“At that point, the Colts would have two options: use a franchise tag projected at close to $25 million in 2017, or come closer to Luck’s demands than they would have in 2016,” writes Seifert. “By then, conventional negotiations would call for a five-year deal worth about $125 million, with more than $70 million in various forms of guarantees. If it’s anything like the contract Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger signed this spring — the current benchmark for “guarantees” — up to half of that $70 million would be guaranteed for injury only.”“However, Luck could pursue a deal that is fully guaranteed or close to it while sacrificing some of the nonguaranteed money that otherwise would inflate the paper value of the deal,” added Seifert. “What if Luck “settled” for an average of $20 million — $100 million over five years — but insisted on $90 million fully guaranteed?”“Luck would have taken some risk to get there, having tabled an earlier long-term deal to play out his current deal, and the Colts’ options would be limited,” concluded Seifert. “They could pay him in 2017 at his franchise value, leading to a higher cap number that season and returning them to the same place in 2018, or they could work with Luck’s request.”"
Dec 14, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) throws a pass against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis defeats Houston 17-10. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Luck would essentially be taking less of the potential maximum money available, but he’d also be guaranteed significantly more of a slightly lesser contract, which could make it theoretically safer in the long run.
For example, instead of asking for $125 million with $35 million actually guaranteed for injury over 5 years at an average salary of $25 million per year, Luck asked for $100 million with $90 million fully guaranteed for 5 years at an average of $20 million per year.
Luck takes potentially slightly less money, but is guaranteed more of it which means the Colts are accepting more possible risk over the course of the contract. However, it’s of possible benefit to the team because Luck would come at a lower cap number on an annual basis, helping their salary cap situation elsewhere.
It’s a creative thought by Seifert, but a resolution doesn’t appear to be imminent as owner Jim Irsay expects Luck’s new contract negotiation to resume next offseason and not necessarily before then:
"“Andrew still has two years left, and whatever our talks are between Andrew and his people will remain confidential,” Irsay said. “… I really think most likely the scenario is going into the offseason next year is when that second contract will come up. That’s the vision I have right now.”"
More from Horseshoe Heroes
- Colts explored hiring former quarterback and current ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky
- When is the NFL Combine 2023? NFL Combine schedule, events, how to stream
- Latest NFL mock draft has Colts trading up to No. 1 for star QB
- Eagles offensive free agents that could follow Shane Steichen to Colts
- Here’s why Colts linebacker Shaq Leonard is going to love Shane Steichen