The Indianapolis Colts have made it official: Andrew Luck is at the center of the franchise's long-term future.
Colts' owner Jim Irsay punctuated that statement by signing quarterback Luck to a massive six-year, $140 million contract extension with $87 million guaranteed, making Luck the highest-paid athlete in NFL history.
"I am thrilled and excited to continue with this great organization," Luck said in a statement. "I am thankful to the Irsay family and Mr. Irsay for providing me with this great opportunity and the trust that they've shown in me. I can't wait for this season to start."
With the extension, Luck blows other NFL contracts out of the water. Eli Manning and Phillip Rivers, both with $65 million guaranteed, are the two closest athletes to Luck's $87 million. Additionally, Luck's $140 million contract ceiling is higher than former record-holder Aaron Rodgers' $110 million deal.
The huge deal comes after Luck's worst NFL season in his four years of playing in the pros. With 13 turnovers, a completion percentage of just 55.3%, multiple injuries, and an 8-8 record with no postseason berth, Luck needs a bounce back 2016 season to quell some of the doubts about his presence in the league.
If anything, though, the extension is a clear display of the confidence Irsay has in Luck's abilities. The Stanford alum and number-one pick in the 2012 Draft, Luck is the Colts' transition from Peyton Manning after the quarterback legend left to go to the Denver Broncos for the 2012 season.
Luck led the Colts to the postseason for each of his first three seasons, and cemented the runs with two AFC South crowns and a trip to the AFC Championship game in 2014. As mentioned by ESPN's Mike Wells, the 26-year-old Luck is the fourth quarterback with at least 100 touchdown passes through four years, led the league with 40 in 2014, and has the fourth-most passing yards (14,838) by any quarterback in his first four seasons in NFL history.
Although the team is in a positive mood after cementing the future of their franchise, the mega extension will undoubtedly place pressure and expectations on Luck's shoulders to get his team heading back in the right direction for the future.