Did Colts Make Mistake By Making Andrew Luck Highest Paid Player Ever?
The Indianapolis Colts entered the 2016 NFL offseason facing a serious dilemma; allow star quarterback Andrew Luck to enter the season as a lame duck, or consider locking him down to a long-term deal prior to the season.
Indy opted for the latter, nailing down a massive six-year, $140 million deal to keep Andrew Luck in town through his age-32 season.
Andrew Luck got PAID. pic.twitter.com/94Vv6NZs41
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 29, 2016
The deal registers as the largest in NFL history, setting the market for top flight quarterbacks and also including a record $87 million in guaranteed cash.
Not So Lucky
The deal is a mild surprise if you look back at Luck’s 2015 season, where he struggled immensely through the first half of the year before seeing his season ended by a lacerated kidney.
Luck was a turnover machine during the first half of the year, turning the ball over a total of 13 times during that stretch. The Colts didn’t find wins easy to come by, either, as they struggled to even remain .500 during a season in which Vegas had them pegged as a Super Bowl favorite.
Worth the Money?
As bad as last year was, it was just one of Luck’s four pro seasons. Prior to 2015, Luck had put up big numbers in all three of his seasons and had played at high enough of a level to lead his team to three consecutive 11-5 records and playoff appearances.
The Colts had built themselves up to be the cream of the crop in the AFC South and because of Luck, many felt they would be ready to take the next step in the playoffs.
That wasn’t to be the case, but the harsh reality the Colts likely realized prior to this deal was that much of Luck’s struggles were outside of his control. Indy’s running game had struggled thanks to a bust acquisition of Trent Richardson, the offensive line has performed among the worst in the league and Chuck Pagano’s would-be vaunted defense has time and time again left Luck hanging.
Colts’ 2016 Super Bowl Odds
Andrew Luck’s new contract doesn’t guarantee a thing, but there is no denying that the Colts made the right call. Luck did struggle last year and still needs to make better decisions and take better care of himself, but he’s largely been everything Indianapolis drafted him to be.
It’s also worth noting that Luck is still just 26 years old, and before last year’s rough start, appeared to be trending in a very positive – if not an elite – direction.
Considering that, and the fact that the Colts were Super Bowl favorites to many a year ago, it isn’t crazy to imagine Indy making a deep playoff run in 2016.
The team still needs to fix their pass protection, get more out of their defense and keep the offense balanced, but with a healthy and focused Luck, they’ll have a shot. Vegas doesn’t necessarily disagree, either, as the Colts open 2016 with +2500 Super Bowl odds at Bovada.
Those odds don’t make Indy a huge title favorite, but after getting that label and falling short in 2015, perhaps that’s best. It’s also best that the Colts pay their quarterback and keep him for the long haul, rather than wait and see what life without a stable franchise passer looks like.
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