The aftermath of the 49ers recently signing QB Colin Kaepernick to a 6-year, $126 million dollar contract is that not only is QB Andrew Luck going to get paid in two years, but he’s going to be paid an awful lot. The QB-contract bar has been raised yet again, as Kaepernick secured himself $61M worth of injury guarantees, the highest ever received by an NFL quarterback.
Of course, this likely comes as no surprise to Colts’ GM Ryan Grigson, who has carefully construed the team’s cap situation to give the team ample leeway in getting a mega-extension signed with #12 for the long-term. Make no mistake about it, QB Andrew Luck will receive a massive pay-raise from the $7.03M he’s set to make in the last year of his rookie contract. From Spotrac.com, you’ll notice that many of the Colts’ bigger contracts happen to expire, some by intended design, after the 2015-2016 season including: OLB Robert Mathis at $10.75M, CB Greg Toler at $5.08M, OT Anthony Castonzo at $7.43M, RB Trent Richardson at $3.18M, and K Adam Vinatieri at $2.75M. From these expiring contracts, as well as those ending in the prior year, Grigson should have plenty of cushion to get a mega-deal hammered out with Luck.
No matter how you at it; however, the big numbers involved can’t help but jump out at you. That’s not a slight on Kaepernick either, who’s one of the top young QB’s in the NFL and has earned his due, rather payday. However, if he’s getting this now, what will Andrew Luck conceivably receive in two-years time?
I’m not going to get into the argument of whether Luck is the better player, but with the NFL earning ever-increasing revenue on a year-to-year basis from lucrative network, sponsorship, and overall fanfare sales, as well as an annually increasing salary cap under the confines of the CBA; this may be a much higher total $ amount when it’s all said and done in two-years time. ESPN’s Adam Schefter has went as far to speculate that QB Andrew Luck could earn as much as $24-25 million annually, a sharp increase from Kaepernick’s new $21M annually.
It’s simply the nature of today’s NFL. QB’s don’t just get paid, they get paid an awful lot. Teams recognize that it’s one of the most important positions in the NFL, and when you have a great, even very good one, you’d be hard-pressed to let them go. Ask the Miami Dolphins or Denver Broncos how easy it’s been to replace Dan Marino and John Elway respectively. Ask modern-day Cleveland Brown fans what it’s like to have a good long-term quarterback period.
In two-years time, Andrew Luck will have earned his due, especially with the discount he’s played under in his current rookie contract. It’s an awful lot of money, but I’m sure owner Jim Irsay will have no issue with ponying up the cash and writing the check. The Colts’ long-term success depends on it, and GM Ryan Grigson and the team have wisely planned for his payday accordingly.