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Colts sign No. 1 Luck for four years, $22 million

Rest easy, Colts fans. The Andrew Luck era can now officially begin.

The Colts signed the Stanford quarterback and No. 1 overall pick in the draft to a four-year, $22.1 million deal Thursday.

"12 is officially signed!!!!!!" Colts owner Jim Irsay tweeted, adding a photo of Luck signing his contract. Luck's agent and uncle, Will Wilson, confirmed the deal was completed.

Cam Newton, last year's top pick, has a four-year, $22 million deal with Carolina and Robert Griffin III, the No. 2 overall pick in April, signed a four-year contract with the Redskins worth $21.1 million guaranteed.

Luck has a pretty good idea what to expect beyond wearing a No. 12 jersey for the Colts. He will be expected to help lead the team back from a 2-14 season that included an 0-13 start with now-departed Peyton Manning recovering from neck surgery.

Irsay cleaned out the front office and changed coaching staffs in January and February. Bruce Arians was Manning's first NFL quarterbacks coach and is back as offensive coordinator, and former Indy offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen, a Bucs assistant from 1992-98, is now the Colts' quarterback coach.

There's a new general manager in Ryan Grigson and a new coach in Chuck Pagano.

Luck is the cornerstone in Indy's biggest overhaul since Manning was drafted in 1998. He is expected to start immediately after playing in a pro-style system at Stanford.

The Colts released Manning on March 7 rather than paying him $28 million. Two days later, Indy cut defensive captains Gary Brackett and Melvin Bullitt and former Pro Bowl players Dallas Clark (later signed by the Bucs) and Joseph Addai. They lost longtime center Jeff Saturday and emerging receiver Pierre Garcon in free agency and dipped into free agency to improve a leaky defense and an unproven offensive line.

Bears: The league suspended defensive tackle Nate Collins without pay for the opener for an unspecified violation of its substance abuse program.

Chargers: Defensive end Luis Castillo was released. He started 79 of the 82 games he played, with 276 tackles and 19 sacks. He hasn't played since breaking his left leg in last season's opener.

patriots: First-round draft choice Dont'a Hightower, a linebacker from Alabama, signed a four-year contract.

rams: Defensive end Robert Quinn was charged with drunken driving in suburban St. Louis. Police said he was involved in a one-car accident on an interstate exit ramp.

steelers: Tackle Jonathan Scott was released. He started 14 games and three playoff games in his two seasons with the team, which selected Ohio State tackle Mike Adams in the second round this year and re-signed offensive lineman and former Gator Max Starks this week.

owens pays up: Former NFL star Terrell Owens made child support payments that he owed to the mother of his 7-year-old daughter, avoiding possible jail time in Atlanta.

Colts sign No. 1 Luck for four years, $22 million 07/19/12 [Last modified: Thursday, July 19, 2012 10:15pm]
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