The big news yesterday was Andrew Luck signing a six-year, $140 million contract extension with the Indianapolis Colts. As absurdly rich as that contract is, I wanted to make it look even more absurd by comparing it to the Denver Broncos in some way.
The actual contract value is six years, $139.125 million, with a total of $87 million in guarantees. Only $44 million is fully guaranteed, but another $16 million becomes guaranteed on the fifth day of the 2017 league year.
That’s a whole lot of cheddar for a franchise quarterback, but Luck might just be worth it. The Colts haven’t proved they can build a championship roster anyway, so Luck really is their biggest shot at competing over the next five years.
Enter the Broncos No Fly Zone.
The five players I would consider the group that makes up the No Fly Zone have contracts totaling just under $133.25 million - still nearly $7 million short of the one player the Colts are paying.
Aqib Talib: $57M
Chris Harris Jr.: $42.5M
T.J. Ward: $22.5M
Bradley Roby: $6.95M
Darian Stewart: $4.25M
Luck is worth every penny, you say?
Well, the Broncos also offer a good test case on that front. In 2013, Peyton Manning was one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL and led the Broncos to an amazing record-setting season. The result was a 43-8 blowout loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Two short seasons later, the five players who make up the No Fly Zone helped dismantle the Broncos’ playoff opponents en route to a 24-10 route of the No. 1 offense in the Carolina Panthers.
Based on our experience, $140M on an elite secondary is far superior to spending that same amount on a single quarterback. Even if that quarterback ends up in the Hall of Fame.
Was it a fair deal?
Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro of The Afternoon Drive discussed Andrew Luck’s contract on Wednesday and whether or not it was a fair deal for both sides. I would say that if one side offered it and the other side signed it, then they at least consider it to be a fair deal all around. Still, I’ll take the No Fly Zone over Andrew Luck every single time.