NFL Superstar Andrew Luck Abruptly Retires, Team Won’t Ask for Any of the $24.8 Million ‘They Are Owed’

The NFL world was left stunned Saturday night when reports began to surface that Indianapolis Colts superstar Andrew Luck was retiring at just 29 years old.

Luck cited mental fatigue, primarily due to his checkered past of injuries, as the impetus for his retirement.

“I’ve been stuck in this process,” an emotional Luck said in his retirement news conference. “I haven’t been able to live the life I want to live. It’s taken the joy out of this game … the only way forward for me is to remove myself from football.

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“This is not an easy decision. It’s the hardest decision of my life. But it is the right decision for me.”

Bizarrely, this news broke in the middle of a preseason game Saturday night where the Colts were hosting the Chicago Bears. As news of the abrupt retirement began to spread, some Indianapolis fans booed Luck as he left the field with the team after the game.

While Luck admitted that the boos “hurt” during an emotional post-game news conference, his wallet could have been hurting just as much if the Colts had come looking for some of their money back.

According to ex-sports agent and CBS Sports contributor Joel Corry, under the terms of the league’s collective bargaining agreement, the Colts could have asked for quite bit of the money they’ve paid to Luck back.

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Fortunately for Luck, who has made $97 million in his career, ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter says that the Colts are making the classy move of not seeking any of that $24.8 million. The two sides have reportedly reached a “financial settlement.”

Even before the Colts chose to let Luck keep his bonuses, Colts owner Jim Irsay pointed out the money Luck was missing out on based on what he could’ve been paid.

Should the Colts have asked for their money back?

“It’s a tough thing, look it, he’s leaving $450, $500 million on the table potentially,” Irsay said according to CBS Sports.

“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 [Colts receiver] T.Y. [Hilton] in the eye, look my teammates, look coach [Frank Reich], look Chris [Ballard] and say, ‘I’m all in,’ and he just didn’t feel he could do that.”

That $500 million figure likely comes from what remained on Luck’s current contract, and the contract extensions he undoubtedly could’ve inked in the future.

Given that far less accomplished quarterbacks, like Carson Wentz and Kirk Cousins, make upwards of $28 million annually, there’s little doubt that Luck would have received very lucrative deals for the remainder of his career.

But that career is over now. Luck would rather be healthy and happy than physically breaking down while playing in the NFL.

It could cost him quite a bit of money, but it appears that it would still be worth it for him.

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