The Indianapolis Colts are understandably upset about losing their franchise quarterback due to a surprising retirement, but the team is making a move to prove that there are no hard feelings. ESPN's Adam Schefter has reported that the Colts and now-former quarterback Andrew Luck have reached a financial settlement as part of his retirement. Instead of having to pay the team back $24.8 million, Luck will actually keep the money as a parting gift.
With his surprising retirement rocking the NFL and social media, it was easy to forget about the business aspects of Luck's deal. However, the remaining money on his five-year contract worth more than $120 million needed to be addressed. According to Schefter, Luck could have owed $12.8 million as a prorated portion of his $32 million signing bonus from 2016. Additionally, he could have owed another $12 million in roster bonuses that he was paid back in March.
However, the Colts opted to let Luck walk away with the money in hand. They won't be pursuing the money like the Detroit Lions did when Calvin Johnson retired. The reason? Luck has literally put his body on the line for the Colts and was repaid with constant injuries. Besides, the team knows that Luck is leaving far more money on the table by walking away from the league.
"It's a tough thing, look it, he's leaving $450 million on the table potentially," team owner Jim Irsay said. "I mean, a half a billion dollars, and he's saying, 'You know what, I want to have my integrity. I have to be able to look [wide receiver] T.Y. [Hilton] in the eye, look my teammates, look Coach [Frank Reich], look [GM] Chris [Ballard] and say, I'm all in,' and he just didn't feel he could do that."
As Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk wrote, Luck could have kept his full salary for the 2019 season by simply going on Injured Reserve with the nagging calf injury and retiring after the year. However, Luck did the honorable thing by being honest with his team and walking away prior to the season.
In response, the Colts felt it was best to give Luck this parting gift in return for the years of effort. The former first overall pick was not able to deliver a second Lombardi Trophy to the franchise, but it's impossible to deny that he gave his all while pursuing that goal.