Colts’ Jim Irsay: ‘Serious talks’ on Andrew Luck deal have taken place

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Andrew Luck

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – It’s a matter of “when,” not “if” Andrew Luck gets an extension that likely makes him the highest-paid player in NFL history.

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay revealed Saturday afternoon negotiations aimed at locking up his franchise quarterback have reached the “serious’’ stage and “we have made progress.’’

Irsay made his annual visit to the media workroom during the on-going NFL Draft, and insisted the Colts’ offensive line-heavy draft has resulted in it being a better team moving forward.

General manager Ryan Grison used the 18th overall pick in the draft on Alabama center Ryan Kelly, then chose Texas Tech tackle Le’Raven Clark in the third round and North Dakota State tackle Joseph Haeg in the fifth round.

However, it was Irsay’s comments regarding Luck that drew the most attention. Luck is in the final year of his rookie contract that will pay him a guaranteed base salary of $16.155 million.

An extension for Luck, Irsay has said, will involve “shocking’’ numbers. A multi-year deal could average between $22-25 million per season. It’s anybody’s guess the magnitude of the guaranteed money.

Irsay initially mentioned the Fourth of July as a soft deadline for an extension to be finalized, but indicated Saturday anything prior to the start of training camp in late July would be acceptable.

“Serious talks have happened,’’ Irsay said. “The discussions we’ve had indicate we should be able to come to a deal. But until you do, we still have ground to cover, there’s no question about that.

“It’s a complicated contract. It’s one that has to work both ways to make sure we’re able to field a great football team where Andrew can be part of one or more championship teams. It takes time, but we’ve made real progress and I don’t see any reason why discussions can’t eventually before we get to training camp produce a new contract.

“I think both sides feel the sooner the better, if it’s possible, and I believe both sides believe it’s possible. How do you create an 11th-hour dynamic where people really get to their end game? That’s kind of hard, but I think we can do that because both sides realize that this is a deal hopefully (that) should get done.’’

During last summer’s training camp, the Colts finalized a five-year, $65 million extension for wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (five years, $65 million). A few weeks later, offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo signed a four-year, $43.6 million extension.

“I remember doing Peyton’s last contract, I think we were in training camp,’’ Irsay said. “Obviously before we get to training camp we’d like to do that. (But) there are times . . . you get to camp and you’re into the preseason and you still can get something done.’’

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