End Around: Andrew Luck is the best bargain in sports


Congrats to Andrew Luck, who can finally act on his lifelong dream of dotting his neck beard with flecks of gold after signing the richest deal in NFL history this week.

The new deal with the Colts spans six years and is valued at $140 million. Not bad at all. Of course, it's important to remember these general terms are funny money in the convoluted world of NFL contract language. Rap Sheet reported that Luck's deal includes $47 million in fully guaranteed money, excellent gwap if you can get it, sure, but it's quite a ways off from the big 1-4-oh. If it excites you, ProFootballTalk offered up a 15-part breakdown of the complete terms.

I'm not sure why we all care so much. As Gregg Rosenthal pointed out on the latest Around The NFL Podcast, we as fans tend to get too wrapped up in the language of contracts when all we really need to know is a) Andrew Luck will remain with the Colts for a bunch more years and b) Andrew Luck now has the means to turn his unfortunate facial hair into "The Yukon Trail." Still, it strangely bothers me that Luck is absurdly underpaid in the context of the American professional sports landscape.

Check out the top 10 highest contract values in Major League Baseball right now, courtesy of Spotrac.com:


Keep in mind, every last dollar from those contracts is fully guaranteed. If you scroll down the list -- waaaaaay down -- you'll find players who have about the same guaranteed money coming as Luck. Diamond legends like Ricky Nolasco, Brandon McCarthy and Matt Garza. Those pitchers are like the Brian Hoyers of MLB and they can build the same financial portfolio as Andrew Freaking Luck. I just peed my pants a little thinking about the next CBA negotiation.

This isn't just baseball, either. Timofey Mozgov, a spectacularly mediocre NBA center who averaged six points and four rebounds per game for the Cavs last season, just tricked the Lakers into giving him a new deal that will double up Luck in new guaranteed money. Timofey Mozgov!

Eh, I'm getting worked up again for no reason. After all, how much money do rich guys actually need to function as super wealthy people forever? Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said this week on Bill Simmons' HBO show that he wouldn't sell his franchise if he were offered $3 billion (with a b). His reasoning? "What do I need $3 billion for?"

(FYI, that answer is why Bane tried to send Hines Ward into the Earth's core in "The Dark Knight Rises.")

So yeah, Andrew Luck is set. He'll still be just 32 the next time he has a chance to reach the open market, which means he has a good chance to pull an A-Rod and sign the biggest deal in his league's history ... twice.

And what will Luck do with all this new money?

[Dan smiles, thinks to himself, "Aw, that's nerdy and endearing," then does web search to learn more about robot ping-pong machines.]


Welcome to the Around The NFL End Around, a weekly look back at the world of the National Football League. Dan Hanzus serves as your guide.

I need Duron Carter in the NFL right now

Duron Carter, son of Hall of Famer receiver Cris Carter and cup-of-coffee-haver with the Indianapolis Colts, appears to be embracing a heel mentality in the CFL. His actions here make TO standing on the Cowboys star look as classy as Larry Fitzgerald flipping the ball to the official after another touchdown. And what's the deal with the opposing coach flopping like Anderson Varejao? What the hell is going on in Canada, anyway?

Browns fans planning Super Bowl victory parade ...


... 17 years from now. That sounds like a textbook DEDICATED REBUILD from Sashi and Hue. I look forward to seeing NFL Hall of Famer Cam Newton hand the Lombardi Trophy to Robert Griffin IV.

What the what?

I watch "The Bachelorette" with my wife, which is totally cool and masculine and justifiable because Aaron Rodgers' brother is on the show. It's for work, ya see? Aaron has come up a few times this season, usually in the context of an unfair taunt directed at Jordan by some douche in the house. (It's fierce out here in these Bachelorette streets). Jordan has never gone out of his way to discuss his brother, and it's yet to come up in any private dates with Jo-Jo. This makes you believe it may be a hands-off topic for the show's producers.


I also found it curious there wasn't so much as a peep on the subject of prominent ABC reality programming coming out of Packers OTAs and minicamp this spring. This makes you think the beat guys -- surely aware of a possible schism in the Rodgers family -- were sheepish (or instructed not) to ask Aaron about the show. Which, by the way, should be a totally OK topic to broach. "Hey, your younger brother is one of the biggest reality stars in America now. That's pretty different, right?"

Jordan was a guest on Katie Nolan's "Garbage Time" podcast this week, where the subject of his relationship with Aaron came up. "We have a relationship," Jordan offered. "It's complicated. I'll say that."

Jordan intimated that he hasn't spoken to his brother about the show (hmmmmm) and went on to explain that he roots for the Packers, but not for the reason you'd expect.

"So one of my best friends in the world, Dave Bakhtiari, is [Aaron's] left tackle," Jordan said. "I lived with David before the draft, so absolutely [I'm a Packers fan]. Since I played, I end up being a fan of watching guys that I played with. I don't really have a team that I root for."


I don't want to make light of family squabbles, because I think we've all been there to varying degrees, and they suck. But there definitely seems to be a lack of sunshine on the Rodgers family tree. I guess what I'm trying to say is don't expect to see Aaron and Olivia show up when "The Bachelorette" reaches the "hometown date" portion of the season in a couple weeks.

James Harrison is a beautiful monster

A video posted by James Harrison (@jhharrison92) on

I don't know if I'm on record with this yet, but let me just call dibs now on James if America slides into a post-apocalyptic hellscape a la "Mad Max" in the next four (to eight) years. I'll ride-or-die with that dude through the desert allll day.

I love Family Feud

NFL players will take center stage on "Celebrity Family Feud" on Sunday, giving me a perfect excuse to check in on one of my favorite shows to watch when I stayed home from school as a kid. "The Feud" was syndicated royalty to me because it was fun, easy to play along with and just a little bit smuttier than people realized. HOST: "What's the one thing you can't do without in your bedroom?" I know where you're going with that one, YOU SLY CREEP.

Anyway, a quick "Family Feud" host Power Rankings:

6. J. Peterman Guy From Seinfeld: Completely forgettable.
5. Richard Karn: Puts the tool in "Tool Time."
4. Louie Anderson: Vaguely depressing viewing experience.
3. Steve Harvey: Made show over in his own image, expanded audience. Impressive.
2. Ray Combs: The perfect mix of charm and smarm. R.I.P.
1. Richard Dawson: The man who started it all. Possibly drunk during tapings. Also played bad guy in "The Running Man."

Tweet Of The Week

Can you even imagine what went down on Thursday night?

Quote of the Week

"My pet peeve is I came to work two days in a row and some mother------ was in my spot. One was a Jeep with Washington plates today. Yesterday was a Jeep with Texas plates, I think, in my spot. If there's a sign on a parking place anywhere in this facility, don't park in the b---- or I'll tow your ass."

-- Bruce Arians in a team meeting, from "All or Nothing: A Season With The Arizona Cardinals"

I spent most of my work week watching and writing up episode recaps for all eight hours of "All or Nothing" programming. Arians' salty mouth rubbed off on me. At one point, my wife called me out for calling the garbage can "the b----." As in, "Let me take out the b----."

Shameless plug alert: You can read all my episode recaps right here. The mothership is rolling out one per day through next week.

Safe journey, Buddy

NFL legend Buddy Ryan passed away this week at age 85, leaving behind a legacy as one of the greatest defensive minds the game has ever seen. I wasn't alive when Buddy Ryan helped the Jets win their lone Super Bowl, and I was just a wee boy when Ryan was carried off the field by the '85 Bears. But I sure as hell remember this ...

Yes, that's ol' Buddy hurling a haymaker at offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride on the Houston Oilers sideline in the 1993 regular-season finale. I remember this well because it was a win-and-in game for my Jets on "Sunday Night Football." (The Jets crashed and burned in a shutout loss, naturally.) Can you even imagine how social media would react if this happened today? Twitter would collapse in on itself. Skip Bayless' head would explode on live television. "First Take" would roll into around-the-clock coverage like CNN during the Gulf War.

I feel like super-fun stuff like this doesn't happen anymore. There are no more cowboys -- everyone is just too damn polished. Just another reason why we'll miss Buddy.

Until next time ...