Rest easy, Colts fans. The Andrew Luck era can now officially begin.
The Colts signed the Stanford quarterback and No. 1 overall pick in the draft to a four-year, $22.1 million deal on Thursday,
“12 is officially signed!!!!!!” Colts owner Jim Irsay tweeted, adding a photo of Luck signing his contract for good measure. Luck’s agent and uncle, Will Wilson, confirmed the deal had been completed.
The deal is similar to the one signed by Cam Newton a year ago and the one signed this week by Robert Griffin III. Newton, last year’s top pick, has a four-year, $22 million deal with Carolina and Griffin, who went No. 2 behind Luck in April’s draft, signed a four-year contract with the Washington Redskins worth $21.1 million guaranteed, with a club option for a fifth year.
Whatever the terms, Colts fans can look forward to seeing Luck behind center this season, brought in 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 fresh start with the Broncos.
Indy gets a rare opportunity to transition from one star quarterback 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 three seasons. He finished with 3,170 yards passing, a 70 percent completion percentage and only nine interceptions without the benefit of an elite wide receiver in 2011. He was the Heisman Trophy runner-up — twice.
Luck has a pretty good idea what to expect beyond wearing a No. 12 jersey for the Colts. He will be expected to help lead the team back from a 2-14 season that included an 0-13 start with Manning out recovering from neck surgery.