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Andrew Luck retires, but he'll end up keeping millions in bonuses

Rachel Tesler

Talk about catching a little luck. $24.8 million worth of it.

Despite his abrupt retirement announcement, the Colts have agreed to let outgoing quarterback Andrew Luck keep his contractual earnings, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

NFL collective bargaining agreement rules state that the Colts could force Luck to return millions from his contract, but they're going to let it slide, per Schefter.

Typically players who receive a signing bonus and later retire under the contract are legally bound to pay back a prorated portion of the cash.

In this case, Luck would be obligated to return a prorated portion of his $32 million signing bonus, clocking in at $12.8 million. His contract also negotiated a $12 million roster bonus this year, which he would also be obliged to return under the deal.

If the Colts decided to recoup under the CBA, Luck would have been forced to return $24.8 million. According to the NFL, Luck earned just over $97 million during his seven-year career.

Other star players who retired during an active contract like Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson were forced to pay back the earnings.

Luck and Colts owner Jim Irsay announced they wouldn’t engage in a messy payback. Insiders say Luck may have had the upper hand, given he could have sat on the bench and collected a full salary by going on injured reserve. Analysts believe he made the honorable choice by instead bowing out of the season, and ultimately the game.

Luck’s decision saw a massive outpouring of support from the NFL on social media, sparking concerns that other players would follow suit.

Intense injuries and meager safety measures have forced the NFL and players to review game practices in recent years.

Quarterback Jacoby Brisset will take over for the young Colts retiree.

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