Colts' Irsay: Luck's 'shocking' new deal will have $20M per year floor

Andrew Luck has been ticketed for a monster second NFL contract basically since before he was drafted. At the time he was entering the NFL, Luck was widely considered the best quarterback prospect since Peyton Manning . Nothing he has done during his first four NFL seasons -- aside from getting injured and playing (poorly) through those injuries this year -- has done much to dispel that notion, so it shouldn't be surprising that Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay is willing to back up the Brinks truck for his star QB.

"It's going to be a big number," Irsay said of Luck's next contract, via the team's official site. "It's going to be a shocking number, nine figures and probably a $20 million starting point per year, but again we will find the right number to get to."

Nine figures and $20 million as a starting point actually does not sound all that shocking, contrary to Irsay's contention. The team already picked up Luck's fifth-year option for 2016, which will pay him just over $16 million. They need to lock Luck up for as long as they can, no matter what it takes.

Andrew Luck is about to get paid. (USATSI)

We saw what happens to the Colts -- 11-5 finishers for three straight seasons when Luck was healthy -- when the franchise QB is not on the field and/or not at full strength. Luck's health and good play alone takes the Colts from also-ran to contender. That's the kind of player that's well worth a massive contract. And when I think "massive," I don't necessarily think "$750,000 a year more than Ryan Tannehill."

There are already eight quarterbacks working on $100 million-plus contracts ( Jay Cutler , Joe Flacco , Colin Kaepernick , Aaron Rodgers , Tony Romo , Cam Newton , Matt Ryan and Drew Brees ). And there are nine whose contracts have an average annual value of $20 million or higher (Rodgers, Newton, Ryan, Flacco, Brees, Russell Wilson , Ben Roethlisberger , Eli Manning and Philip Rivers ). Putting Luck at exactly $20 million a year would leave him as the 10th-highest paid QB in the league. It seems extremely likely that he'll push past that and closer to the territory of Rodgers and Wilson at or above $22 million per year. In fact, it wouldn't be at all surprising if he was handed the largest-ever contract for a quarterback.

CBS Sports Writer

Jared Dubin is a New York lawyer and writer. He joined CBSSports.com in 2014 and has since spent far too much of his time watching film and working in spreadsheets. Full Bio

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