New $30 million contract ties Jacoby Brissett to Colts through 2020

CINCINNATI, OHIO - AUGUST 29: Jacoby Brissett #7 of the Indianapolis Colts warms up before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on August 29, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Jacoby Brissett is getting paid like the starter he is.

According to a source with knowledge of the situation, the Indianapolis Colts and Brissett agreed Monday to a two-year contract worth a reported $30 million with $20 million in guarantees. The Colts confirmed news of the deal Tuesday without going into specifics on the terms.

Also for clarity, the reworked deal ties Brissett to the Colts through 2020. He was in the final year of his four-year, $3.41 million rookie contract. Instead of earning his expected 2019 base salary of $2 million, Brissett gets a raise this season to about $15 million.

The short-term nature of the new deal allows the Colts to assess Brissett over the next two seasons before possibly giving him a mega-deal, and gives Brissett financial security while he attempts to establish himself as a bona fide starter.

The original $2 million figure would have made him one of the NFL’s lowest-paid opening-day starters, and the second highest-paid QB on the Colts. General manager Chris Ballard signed veteran Brian Hoyer to a three-year, $12 million contract Monday.

It seemed inevitable the Colts and Brissett would address the financial imbalance that existed in their quarterbacks’ room. It obviously was created when Andrew Luck retired Aug. 24 and Brissett was elevated to trusted backup to no-doubt starter.

The Colts acquired Brissett in a September 2017 trade with New England and their appreciation of him has steadily grown. He started the final 15 games of ’17, took just 18 snaps last season as Luck returned and has been running the No. 1 offense since mid-April as Luck dealt with his left calf/ankle issues.

The Colts haven’t hidden their affinity for Brissett.

“In my mind, I say this guy is a top-20 quarterback,’’ Frank Reich said. “This guy is a legit starter in the league.’’

In three seasons with the Patriots and Colts, Brissett has appeared in 23 games with 17 starts. He’s 5-12 as a starter, including 4-11 in ’17 when he stepped in for Luck, who missed the entire season with his right-shoulder issues.

“Jacoby Brissett is a winning football player in this league,’’ Ballard said at Luck’s retirement press conference. “Jacoby Brissett is a rare, rare leader. He is. He is a rare human being, man. That locker room loves Jacoby Brissett. They love him.’’

Ballard reiterated his support Sunday afternoon.

“I know this about Jacoby: he will not flinch,’’ he said. “He won’t flinch. He didn’t when we brought him in here in ’17. Jacoby won’t flinch.’’

There’s never been a doubt the locker room supported Brissett. After expressing their shock over Luck’s departure, players universally rallied behind Brissett.

A sampling:

  • Anthony Castonzo: “He just goes and does his job. He likes to have a little bit of fun, too, which is always good out on the field. He’s confident, which is kind of the number one thing you look for in a leader. I think he’s going to do a great job.’’
  • Y. Hilton: “Of course we’re losing a big piece, but Jacoby is ready. He’s been primed and ready for this position. I know we’re all excited and can’t wait for him to go out there.’’
  • Adam Vinatieri: “Jacoby has been here for a couple of years now. He’s awesome. I love the guy. He’s a super, super competitive-type guy. He’s got all the physical abilities to get the job done as well.’’

You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51

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