by: James Pearce
With all of the scrutiny the Indianapolis Colts have been under and the team’s blundering to a 3-3 record, the question must be asked: will Andrew Luck remain with the team in the 2016-2017 season?
It is a certainty that the Colts should resign Luck. Picking a quarterback in the draft and expecting them to play well is a 2-3 year process and the Colts don’t have that much time. Anything besides re-signing Luck would be a move toward a rebuild.
If the Colts are in rebuild mode at the end of this season, it would involve the firing of Ryan Grigson as GM and signing on a new coach. It’s already clear that Coach Chuck Pagano will not be back, and I think this is true regardless of how the Colts end up (if they end up) in the playoffs. If Pagano goes, then a new coach will come in and that means a new offensive coordinator. If Pep Hamilton (the current offensive coordinator) isn’t retained, then would Luck want to go elsewhere?
Another perspective on Luck and his contract is that the Colts have not already resigned him because they are planning on using the franchise tag on him next season. That would save them $2-3 million next year and avoid paying Luck top dollar on a new deal. However, I think using the franchise tag is a very bad move for the Colts. It locks Luck in for a year and it brings on some bad blood between Luck and the Colts. It says to Luck, “We might keep you the following year or we might deal you or let you go on your way.” I think avoiding bad blood is why the Seahawks finally redid Russell Wilson’s contract (which at the moment doesn’t look like such a great move on the Seahawks’ part given the team’s performance this year).
I’m not sure where Luck stands on staying. Supposedly he is building a new home in Zionsville, IN and it sure wouldn’t seem to make sense to let him move on to another team. However, stranger things have happened in the NFL and it sure wouldn’t surprise me if the Colts cut their ties with Luck.
The likely scenario in my mind is that Pagano is gone at year’s end and Luck stays initially on a franchise tag that is converted to a new deal. Market value of the deal looks to me to be $21 million a year. This market value would be higher if the Colts reach and/or win the Superbowl this year.
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