“I think there’s a good chance we would get something done this offseason,” Irsay told ESPN, among other media outlets in sit-down interviews with several local reporters.
Based on what happened last year, expect this to happen before the Colts start the 2016 regular season. Irsay said the 2015 offseason priority was to re-sign wide receiver T.Y. Hilton and offensive left tackle Anthony Castonzo to long-term extensions. Both players were locked up in preseason.
The Colts picked up the fifth-year option on Luck, which means he has a base salary of $16.155 million. But a new contract will undoubtedly make the four-year pro one of the NFL’s highest-paid players — Irsay suggested “nine figures.”
The NFL’s highest-paid 10 players are quarterbacks with an average salary of $19.25 million per season, according to ESPN.
The Colts locking up their three-time Pro Bowl quarterback is all about ensuring the future of the franchise but also being able to gauge how much can be spent elsewhere. A lengthy, lucrative commitment to No. 12 means far less money to spend elsewhere on the roster, but knowing what Luck’s numbers are helps the team prepare for that future accordingly.
The annual cap hit can be balanced in an extension, perhaps weighting the amount of guaranteed money to different years for some relief, although the number will be higher.
Irsay also said this week that Luck has recovered from his lacerated kidney and partially torn abdominal muscle, which caused him to miss the last seven games of 2015. He also missed two games with shoulder/rib injuries.
The Colts fell far short of Super Bowl expectations in finishing 8-8 and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
Irsay said that if the Colts had reached the Super Bowl, Luck would have been cleared to play.
The owner said “major negotiations” have not yet begun on a new Luck contract. Before heading into the offseason, Luck said the obvious in saying he would be receptive to a new contract.
Hilton received a five-year, $65-million contract and Castonzo was re-signed to a four-year, $43.8-million deal.
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