Dan Graziano at ESPN recognizes that Andrew Luck‘s new contract is “eye-popping at first.” But the ESPN scribe says agents have “been drooling” while hoping Luck would use more of his leverage and really make Colts owner Jim Irsay pay him. Huh? Irsay made Luck the highest paid player at $23.3 million a year and beat the next best total contract sum by $13.3 million. (Luck’s $140M tops Jay Cutler’s $126.7M.) Still: “Not as great as it was supposed to be,” opines Graziano. “Luck should have raked the Colts over the coals,” he writes.
Graziano’s reasoning is that the NFL salary cap has risen 26.2% since 2013 when Aaron Rodgers signed his $22M a year deal. But the “top quarterback salary has risen 5.9 percent.” QBs are reluctant to get greedy, he thinks, because it creates bad locker room karma — taking too much money out of the other guys’ pockets. “If there was ever a guy to take a stand,” Graziano says, “this was the guy to do it.” Unfortunately, in the warped world that Graziano is considering, Luck “settled” for $140 million. Too nice a guy to go for the financial jugular. Which begs the wildly sarcastic question: How can a guy who settles for this kind of money, who is so easily taken advantage of, be expected to lead the team?