For as many questions as Andrew Luck leaves behind with his sudden retirement, there is a fair amount that people actually understand about the implications of his retirement from a financial sense. Part of the sacrifice that historically comes with calling it a career earlier than expected—in addition to giving up future salary—is the fact that the player may be required by their team to return bonuses that were given. In Luck’s case, he was looking at a potential eight-figure loss.
But a new report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter notes that the Colts are deciding to do right by their franchise quarterback that they failed to protect, and allowing him to keep that money.
Per the report:
Luck, 29, could have owed the Colts $12.8 million as a prorated portion of the $32 million signing bonus the Colts gave him when he signed his five-year extension in 2016, and another $12 million in roster bonuses he was paid in March. But Indianapolis waived its right to recoup the money and is allowing Luck to keep it all, after the poundings he’s taken and all he’s given to the franchise. It is, in an official way, his parting gift.
Objectively speaking, this is the very least the Colts could do and this decision could almost be seen as an acknowledgment of not only the violence he endured as the team’s quarterback, as Schefter said, but also of how badly Ryan Grigson most certainly fucked up Luck’s prime. However, because of past precedent that shitty organizations like the Lions have set in demanding that generational talents—Calvin Johnson and Barry Sanders, in case you didn’t know—return their hard-earned money to a franchise that forced them to an early retirement, this will undoubtedly be seen as an act of kindness by some of the shield’s most ardent defenders.
So there you go, Colts fans. Even though the front office placed a team around Luck that drove him to feel as though he was unable to live the life he wants to live, you all can take solace in the fact that you’re not as bad as Detroit.