Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 7/20/12
The Indianapolis Colts signed Andrew Luck to a four-year deal reportedly worth $22.2 million on Thursday. The news of the deal came less than 36 hours after Robert Griffin III inked his deal with the Washington Redskins. Both contracts are fully guaranteed, but Griffin signed his deal first and paved the way for rookie contracts without off-set language for top draft picks in 2012 and the future.

Luck and Griffin are very different quarterbacks, but both extremely talented individuals. Luck replaces Peyton Manning as franchise quarterback for the Colts and the shadow cast by Manning is large, but Griffin's shadow is growing. 

Griffin looks more likely to make a splash in the NFL this season than Luck.  If it's one thing the Redskins are experienced with its playing with a new quarterback.  This quality actually factored in to the substantial drop off with the Colts last season.  Manning and the rest of the Colts were creatures of habit in his offense and couldn't adapt.  They worked the clock, handed off when they needed, and played conservative and patient football.   Not to say Luck can't replicate Manning's success, but that style of play isn't easy to execute for rookie quarterbacks in the NFL.

Griffin is equipped with a style of play more conducive to early success in the league, but he might see a dip in production in year two or three. He'll most likely be the opposite of slow and steady Detroit Lions quarterback Matt Stafford. Griffin's early success will be just enough to make him a real threat and teams will take notice in 2012, but they won't be able to stop him. Luck's Colts might win some games, but early success is doubtful.

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton demonstrated individual early success is possible for a mobile quarterback with an arm in 2011. Carolina didn't make the playoffs, but receiver Steve Smith re-emerged with Newton throwing passes his way, and their team was more exciting to watch than ever.  

Griffin's Redskins probably won't make the playoffs in 2012, but they will be far more exciting than Luck and the Colts.  Fans in Washington, D.C. don't want to remember Todd Collins. They want to move on.  Colts fans will always remember Manning, but Griffin's shadow may be the biggest for Luck to get out of in 2012.  Especially if Griffin explodes early and gives Redskins fans something to finally cheer about.

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