Quarterback Andrew Luck won’t have to give up nearly $25 million in bonus money despite his Saturday night announcement that he is retiring from the NFL just three weeks shy of his 30th birthday.
According to ESPN, the Colts won’t go after a $12 million roster bonus Luck received in March or a pro-rated portion of the $32 million signing bonus he received in 2016 that could have amounted to another $12.8 million.
Colts owner Jim Irsay suggested Saturday night that Luck was leaving as much as $500 million on the table by ending his career so young.
Luck, who turns 30 on Sept. 12, had already met with Irsay and had been seriously considering retirement for two weeks.
The team and Luck reportedly reached a settlement on the bonus money late last week, before the news broke during Saturday night’s game.
Luck has been battling an ankle injury for four months that took the team awhile to properly diagnose. It was initially called a calf issue before the ankle was determined to be the problem earlier this month. He did not practice in full during training camp, and his availability for the season opener was in doubt.
He also missed parts of the 2015 and 2016 seasons and the entire 2017 campaign with a recurring shoulder injury that required one surgery and additional treatment in Europe.
The No. 1 overall pick out of Stanford in 2012, Luck was widely considered the best quarterback prospect to enter the NFL since Peyton Manning in 1998. He went to the Pro Bowl and helped the Colts to the playoffs in each of his first three seasons, making an AFC Championship appearance in 2014, the same year he led the league with 40 touchdown passes during the regular season.
Luck missed nine games in 2015 and one in 2016 before sitting out all of 2017 after his recovery from shoulder surgery didn’t go as planned. He later told reporters he initially hurt his throwing shoulder in 2015 and had played through pain while compensating with an altered throwing motion before finally having surgery after the 2016 season.
Healthy again in 2018, Luck won the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year award after starting all 16 games and throwing for 4,593 yards, 39 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. The Colts closed the season with nine wins in 10 games, rallying from a 1-5 start to reach the playoffs before falling in the divisional round to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Jacoby Brissett, who started 15 games in Luck’s place in 2017, will be the Colts’ starter moving forward. The 26-year-old has completed 59.1 percent of his passes for 3,500 yards, 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 23 games (17 starts) across three seasons.
—Field Level Media