INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 4, 2016) – In what promises to be another offseason of change with the Indianapolis Colts organization, two things were crystal clear from Andrew Luck’s vantage point.
One, he’s receptive to accepting a long-term contract from owner Jim Irsay that undoubtedly will make him the NFL’s highest-paid player. He’s under contract through 2016 with a base salary of $16.155 million.
“Yeah, that would be great,” he said of a multi-year contract. “I haven’t thought about it too much. I wanted to make sure this season gets done.
“But if there’s an opportunity for it, yeah, absolutely.”
Locking up Luck for the long term likely will require a contract that averages at least $20 million annually. Without a long-term contract, the Colts would have to use the restrictive and expensive franchise tag to keep him around for 2017-19. The collective bargaining agreement allows them to use the tag three times.
But along with wanting to finalize a long-term working relationship with the team that made him the first overall pick in the 2012 draft, Luck wants nothing to do with a 2016 season that might involve a rebuilding effort. The Colts finished 8-8 and failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
“I remember four years ago using that word (rebuilding) was very much offensive in this locker room,” Luck said. “It still is.”
Players met with coach Chuck Pagano shortly after noon, then had their exit physicals and cleaned out their lockers. All insisted Pagano did not inform them of his fate. He was to meet later Monday afternoon with Irsay.
However, Luck indicated some type of change would result after failing to reach the playoffs.
“It’s everybody’s goal to win the Super Bowl, right?” he said. “When you don’t do that, stuff happens. When you don’t get to the playoffs and give yourself a chance to win the Super Bowl, regardless of the situation going on (things happen).
“Mr. Irsay has done a great job of leading this franchise for a long, long time. It’s a winning franchise. Super Bowl winner and very, very successful. I know he has a vision for this team and whatever it is we’ll be there to make sure we try and get it done.”