Luck balks at Colts' marketing restrictions

By Len Pasquarelli

The Sports Xchange

In his 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, quarterback Peyton Manning became the face of the NFL, not only because of his brilliant performance on the field, but also the huge volume of marketing and endorsement money that the four-time most valuable player earned off of it.

Some team officials, and certainly players from other clubs, privately contend Manning was overexposed. The same level of endorsement work could eventually line Andrew Luck's coffers, but the Colts might have some degree of control over how often their new quarterback's mug is plastered across the TV or on billboards.

One of the stumbling blocks in negotiations between Indianapolis and the top overall choice in the draft, The Sports Xchange has learned, is the proposed inclusion of marketing language that Luck and his representatives, at least so far, regard as strident. One source with knowledge of the talks even suggested that Luck would "have to clear" marketing proposals with the club.

It's not believed that Manning's contract, at least early in his career, contained such a provision. Another hurdle, as noted here two weeks ago: The schedule for the payout of Luck's signing bonus, which will be $14,518,544, exactly the same as Cam Newton's in 2011. Newton was paid in two equal installments, but Luck and agent Will Wilson are said to be seeking something far more favorable. It's believed the Colts have improved the proposed bonus payout, but only by a little, with 55 percent due on execution of the contract and 45 percent payable next spring. Indianapolis has made similar signing bonus payout proposals to other draft choices.