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January 21, 2018

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Friday, December 22, 2017

Andrew Luck NFL’s Highest-Paid Player

By Will Brinson/CBSSports.com – Andrew Luck has signed a six-year contract extension with the Indianapolis Colts that will keep him with the team through 2021, the team announced Wednesday. Colts owner Jim Irsay was the first to report the news by announcing it was a deal worth $140 million over six years.

The Colts said for months they intended to lock up their franchise quarterback to a long-term deal.

And the numbers are in fact large, with the deal set to make Luck the highest-paid player in the entire NFL.

“This is an exciting day for the organization and Colts fans around the globe,” Irsay said in a statement. “Andrew is the consummate professional, possesses extraordinary talent and is our leader on and off the field. When you consider what this team has accomplished in four seasons with Andrew under center, you cannot help but be thrilled about the future.”

Irsay said he wanted to hit a July 4 deadline and the Colts pulled it off with the six-year deal believed to pay Luck $75 million in the first three years and contain $80 million in guarantees.

“I am thrilled and excited to continue with this great organization,” Luck said. “I am thankful to the Irsay family and Mr. Irsay for providing me with this great opportunity and the trust that they’ve shown in me. I can’t wait for this season to start.”

If the $75 million number for the first three years is accurate it will put Luck at the top of the earning chart for the first three years of the deal (the primary indicator for how much money you’re pulling in).

The deal is called a six-year contract but Luck was already under contract for 2016 using his fifth-year option for a rookie. That option was set to pay him $16.155 million, which means Luck is getting $123.845 million in new money over the next five years, setting his average annual value at $24.7 million.

Getting Luck under contract for five years at less than $25 million, given the importance of the quarterback position and the amount of money good NFL teams pull in, is actually pretty good value.

Even after Luck suffered a down season in 2015 after one of the best starts to a career in NFL history.

He played just seven games last year, dealing with multiple injuries, and threw only 15 touchdowns to 12 interceptions a year after passing for a league-leading 40 touchdowns.

Luck averaged 4,319 yards through his first three season in the NFL but threw for just 1,881 last year.

The Colts understand if they want to get back on top of the heap, it will be because of Luck. They drafted center Ryan Kelly in the first round to protect him up front and now are pumping tons of money into the most-important player at the most-important position in the NFL.

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