INDIANAPOLIS — It was only a matter of time.
Last June, Indianapolis Colts team Owner Jim Irsay proudly tweeted that quarterback Andrew Luck had signed the largest contract in NFL history — $140 million over six years.
But Luck's claim to that piece of "fame" would last all of 358 days.
On Thursday, the Oakland Raiders reportedly re-signed their franchise quarterback, Derek Carr, to a five-year, $125 million contract extension, meaning that, in terms of average salary per year, Luck has been dethroned atop the league's highest-paid players list:
Now it's done ! From the jump I've wanted to be a Raider 4 life. One step closer to that! Blessed!!! Business done! Let's just play now!!! — Derek Carr (@derekcarrqb) June 22, 2017
More than likely, Thursday's news is a source of relief for Luck, a player who has never sought the spotlight — especially one that comes when the paychecks include so many zeroes.
But the now sixth-year Stanford product certainly always understood everything that comes along with playing quarterback in the NFL beyond what goes on in the meeting room and on the field.
"I've always had high expectations and probably higher than others," Luck told reporters at the start of training camp last year. "I'm the first to say that I do not pay attention to outsiders as far as expectations. Internally, the expectations have been the same since I've been here."
The interesting connection between Carr and Luck's deals are that both quarterbacks were signed to mega deals despite the fact they were coming off season-ending injuries.
Luck's 2015 season ended seven games early due to a lacerated kidney, while Carr suffered a broken fibula Week 16 last December against the Indianapolis Colts.
Luck, of course, rebounded to turn in perhaps the best-overall season of his career in 2016, completing 63.5 percent of his passes for 4,240 yards with 31 touchdowns to 13 interceptions — and this was despite the fact he played through a painful injury to his throwing shoulder the entire season. Luck has since underwent surgery to that shoulder and hopes to return to the field by next month's start of training camp.
So can Carr do the same this year while living up to the expectations of such a lucrative contract?
"I hope so," Carr said earlier this year, via Raiders.com. "I don't put like measurements on it, or stats, and things like that, but from a decision-making standpoint, from a poise, and comfort standpoint, all those things, playing the game with more knowledge, more wisdom, from that standpoint, I hope I grow every, single year. I really do."
There's a good chance Carr's grasp on the "highest-paid player" distinction will last much shorter than Luck's, however.
Several quarterbacks are due for new contracts soon, perhaps even this year, including the Detroit Lions' Matthew Stafford, the Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers and the Washington Redskins' Kirk Cousins, who was signed to the franchise tag this offseason for a second straight year, and has a mid-July deadline to reach a contract extension with the team.
The analysis from those producing content on Colts.com does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by Colts.com content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.