Rest easy, Colts fans. The Andrew Luck time can now formally begin.
The Indianapolis Colts signed Luck, who was taken with the 1st overall pick in the April draft, to a four-year, $22.1 million agreement a league source related.
The deal is completely warranted, with no offset language and the deal also can include a $14.5 million signing bonus, a source said
The Colts hold a choice for a 5th year, the source said. Indianapolis’ rookies reported to training camp.
The Indianapolis Colts brought in Luck to help the proud franchise rebound after last year’s horrible skid. The injured Peyton Manning never played a down and now he’s gone, off to Denver for a new start with the Broncos.
Quarterback Robert Griffin III, the No. 2 pick behind Luck, was signed by the Redskins last Wednesday. Griffin’s 4-year deal is worth $21.1 million and is fully guaranteed, with no offset language, a league source said.
Whatever the details, Indianapolis Colts fans can anticipate seeing Luck behind center this season.
Indy gets an uncommon chance to transition from one star QB to another.
Luck threw for 35 touchdowns last season – breaking his school record of 32 in 2010 – and eclipsed John Elway’s career record (77) at Stanford with 80 touchdown passes in only 3 seasons. He finished with 3,170 yards passing, a 70 percent completion percentage and only 9 interceptions without the benefit of an elite WR in 2011. He was the Heisman Trophy runner-up — twice.
Luck has a very good concept what should be expected beyond wearing a No. 12 jersey for the Colts. He will need to help lead the team back from a 2-14 season that included an 0-13 begin with Manning out getting over neck surgery.
Irsay cleaned out the front office and changed training staffs in Jan and Feb. Bruce Arians was Manning’s first NFL quarterbacks coach and he’s back as Indy’s offensive coordinator, and former Indy offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen is now the Colts QB coach.
There’s a new General Manager in Ryan Grigson and a new coach in Chuck Pagano.
But Luck is the cornerstone in Indy’s largest overhaul since Manning was drafted in 1998.
He’s predicted to start right after playing in a pro-style system at Stanford, where he originally was tutored by former Colts QB and 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh. Sports scores
After drafting Andrew, the Colts picked tight end Coby Fleener, his Stanford teammate, in the second round. They were given another tight end in Clemson’s Dwayne Allen and fast receiver T.Y. Hilton to go with Reggie Wayne.
Still, there were a lot of player moves, too.
The Indianapolis Colts released Manning on March 7 rather than paying him $28 million. A couple of days later, Indy cut defensive captains Gary Brackett and Melvin Bullitt and former Pro Bowlers Dallas Clark and Joseph Addai.
They lost longtime center Jeff Saturday and emerging receiver Pierre Garcon in free agency and dipped into free agency to enhance a leaky defense and an unproven offensive line.