Spotrac Projects Andrew Luck and Coby Fleener’s Next Contracts
According to Spotrac, one of the premier NFL contract resources on the web, a pair of Indianapolis Colts Andrew Luck and Coby Fleener are expected to earn significant paydays as soon-to-be free agents.
As a free agent this upcoming offseason, Fleener is projected to earn a 4-year, $22.6 million dollar deal on his next contract:
"Coby Fleener, INDCalculated: 4 years, $22.6M ($5.6M AAV)Likely: 4 years, $22.6M ($5.6M AAV)Fleener appeared to be heading toward a major payday after a breakout 2014 campaign in Indy (54 rec, 774 yards, 8 TD). But a step-back year in 2015, likely due to the absence of Andrew Luck, has throttled his value significantly heading toward free agency. At just 27 years old, and with good blocking abilities, Fleener’s versatility should garner him plenty of offers should the Colts let him walk. A $5.6M AAV would rank him 11th among active TEs."
While I’ll disagree with their crediting Fleener with “good blocking abilities” (*although ProFootballFocus did give him a +1.4 run blocking grade this past season), Fleener can still be considered one of the better young tight ends in football.
Despite being “Luck-less” for 9 games, Fleener still had a decent season, setting a career high with 54 receptions while adding 491 receiving yards and 3 receiving touchdowns respectively.
There’s no question that the Colts significantly under-utilized their tight ends this past season compared to 2014. However, Fleener still has the size at 6’6″ and speed to be a receiving mismatch nightmare for opposing defenses and earn himself a lucrative contract this offseason.
The question is whether it will be with the Colts however.
The Colts have a talented tight end pair in both Fleener and Dwayne Allen, who will both be free agents this offseason, and there’s a major question of whether they can afford both tight ends going forward.
While he’s set to play under a team option of $16.12 million in 2016, Luck could also be in-line for a mega-extension this offseason that could make him the highest paid player in NFL history.
Both sides are said to be hopeful for a long-term deal this offseason, and Luck could command as much as $24-25 annually on his next contract.
However, Spotrac currently projects Luck making around $18.6 million annually on his next contract:
"Andrew Luck, INDCalculated: 5 years, $93M ($18.6M)Likely: No extension until after 2016 Luck’s value took a major hit with limited action in 2015. He’s also seen a major increase in interceptions, and a major decrease in overall Passer Rating over the past two seasons, bringing him down into second-tier market value range right now. He’s entering his 5th-year option in 2016, and could be considered for a franchise tag in 2017 – but it’s likely that the Colts move to extend within the next 12 months. Luck is a $100M+ talent and will be compensated as such when all is said and done."
While that’s presumably his fair market valuation–coming off a down season, Luck will likely make much more than that on his next contract.
Keep in mind that the Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson just received a 4-year, $87.6 million dollar deal because of injury, which will pay him $21.9 million annually.
With the NFL’s current highest paid quarterback Aaron Rodgers making $22 million annually, Luck’s agent Will Wilson will likely shoot for a deal that makes him at least around $22 million annually–if not more.
While Luck is coming off a poor season for his standards–having both played through and missed 9 games because of injury, he’s still widely regarded as one of the top young quarterbacks in football.
Still only age 26, Luck is just one season removed from a league-leading 40 touchdown pass season and taking his team to the AFC Championship game.
In terms of arm, athleticism, and football intelligence, one would be hard-pressed to find a better combination than what Luck brings.
Regarding both Fleener and Luck, it’ll be interesting to see what the offseason will bring on their next contracts.