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Andrew Luck contract: Colts QB is overrated but not overpaid

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The Indianapolis Colts heard the news about Doug Baldwin on Tuesday and decided "Man, we gotta get in on this news cycle while the gettin's good" and announced a five-year contract extension for Andrew Luck. The deal is worth $123 million from 2017-2021, and is worth $139 million if you include the $16 million he was already scheduled to make this season. It is the richest contract in NFL history and has "$87 million guaranteed," whatever that even means anymore.

The point is that Luck is now super-duper rich as opposed to yesterday when he was ... no wait, he's really been super-duper rich since joining the NFL because "millions of dollars over a few years" is a lot of money and we keep forgetting that because after years of reading headline after headline of player contracts, the words have lost all meaning. Andrew Luck is rich. Doug Baldwin is rich. Brian Hartline is rich. Jon Ryan is rich.

Whatever. Luck is the richest. And that's perfectly okay.

If anyone on SB Nation has hit the "Luck is overrated" drum the hardest over the last three years, it's me. And I stand by that because there are still hundreds of media members out there who have a significant audience of readers, listeners, and viewers, who continue to anoint Luck as a top-five (usually top-three) QB mostly because, in my opinion, they're afraid to not parrot the norm. They're afraid to go against the narrative. They're cowards, basically. Throw an argument against Luck at them and they won't bat it back at you, they'll go play with somebody else. Or they'll talk about a different player entirely and hope you forget what the conversation started as. But they can't counter any anti-Luck sentiments with anything other than rattling off how many wins he got against the worst division in football, or how the problem is everyone in Indianapolis besides Luck, or just, well, "your an idiot."

Luck is overrated because he's not a top-five quarterback, let alone top-three, so why then would I say he's not "overpaid"? Because this is simply the going rate for the "franchise quarterback d'jour."

Last year, the Seattle Seahawks signed Russell Wilson to a four-year extension worth $87 million, which is $21.9 per year. It's less total money than Luck, it's less guaranteed money than Luck, and it's less per year than Luck, but he will be a free agent two years earlier than Luck. At which point, he will probably sign for more total money than Luck, more guaranteed money than Luck, and more money per season than Luck. That's just how it works.

Luck may not be the best QB in the NFL, but he's certainly one of the ten or so that a franchise must hold onto. Luck, Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton ... I mean, I could write a 600-page book on why Wilson is better than Luck (and I'm sure that some of you would probably help me self-finance it) but I don't necessarily think that I'd rather have Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Eli Manning, or Matthew Stafford. And Flacco still has the second-highest APY in the NFL.

We pay more attention to Luck because he's a media darling, but especially do we pay him notice today because he just got paid today. If you think Luck is overpaid, don't hate the player, and don't even hate the game ... hate the economy. He just got his piece of the pie based on what consumers have deemed reasonable for what a football team's revenue stream is and how much of that should be going to a franchise quarterback.

It still won't make him a top-five QB.