Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay had been saying via Twitter that the deal with former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck was "close," and after second-overall pick Robert Griffin III signed his rookie contact with the Washington Redskins on Wednesday, the bar was set, and people could begin transacting.
As first reported by Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star, Luck agreed to terms with the Colts on Thursday to a deal expected to be worth about $22.2 million guaranteed, with a $14.5 million signing bonus. Luck participated in the team's rookie minicamp and another mandatory OTA, but missed all other official team practices as he finished his studies at Stanford.
As expected per the new rookie wage scale, Luck's deal is very much in line with the contract signed by Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton in 2011. Newton, that year's first overall selection, signed a four-year deal worth $22.05 million guaranteed, and the same signing bonus. As with all contracts signed by top-10 draft picks, Luck's contract comes with a fifth-year team option.
[Larry Fitzgerald: Take Megatron over me in fantasy ... he's got the QB]
In three full seasons for the Stanford Cardinal, Luck proved to be perhaps the most pro-ready quarterback coming out of college since his predecessor, Peyton Manning. Not only were his numbers spectacular -- 713 completions in 1,064 attempts (67 percent) for 9,430 yards, 82 touchdowns, 22 interceptions and a passer rating of 162.8) -- but his ability to run Jim Harbaugh's offense to near-perfection gained him further credibility in the scouting community. During last year's NFL lockout, when Harbaugh had moved on to the San Francisco 49ers and Alex Smith needed training in Harbaugh's system, the coach reached out to Luck to show Smith the way.
Luck and Griffin are the first two of the top-eight picks in this draft class to sign their deals, and with training camps beginning next week, you can expect everyone else to fall in line quickly. The Colts start their full practices on July 28, and only two players -- second-round tight end Coby Fleener and third-round tight end Dwayne Allen -- are unsigned at this time.
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