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Four questions facing Colts after signing Andrew Luck

We all knew it was coming: Andrew Luck signing his massive, new contract was just a matter of time.

After the Colts made their star quarterback the highest-paid player in NFL history, the franchise has the most important position in sports locked up through 2021.

So what's next for a team that came within a game of the Super Bowl just two seasons ago? Let's take a look at four big questions still facing this year's Colts:

1. Will the pass rush improve? The Colts were a mess trying to get to the quarterback last season. Only nine teams recorded fewer than Indy's 35 sacks in 2015, raising questions about a group that marches into Week 1 led by Robert Mathis. The 35-year-old edge rusher tallied seven takedowns last autumn, but the Colts don't have much proven help around him. Trent Cole is 33 and hardly qualifies as a game-changer. The pressure falls on defensive end Kendall Langford -- who piled up seven sacks of his own -- and linebacker Erik Walden to provide pressure. Two other names to watch here: Seventh-round pass rusher Trevor Bates and Earl Okine, who is switching this offseason from end to outside linebacker for a group that has seen little additional change since last year.

2. Can the offensive line turn the corner? No team in the NFL is investing more in their quarterback than the Colts. Luck's offensive line, though, has hardly pulled its weight. Heading into last season, no passer had been knocked down more than Luck over the previous three seasons. Plenty of questions still remain up front. While the left side of the line is cemented with Anthony Castonzo at tackle, Jack Mewhort at guard and first-rounder Ryan Kelly at center, the right guard and tackle slots remain open heading into camp. After watching the club lose Luck to injury last season -- utterly sinking the campaign -- general manager Ryan Grigson is crossing his fingers for better results.

3. Will the backfield hold up? The Colts haven't had a runner plow for 100-plus yards in a game since 2012. Frank Gore came close last season and finished the year with 967 yards, but his yards per rush tumbled to 3.7, the lowest of his career. The bruiser is looking to become the first 33-year-old to run for 1,000 yards since John Riggins did so at age 35 back in 1984. If the wheels come off, Indy will be forced to rely on a combination of Robert Turbin, Jordan Todman, Trey Williams, Josh Ferguson and Tyler Varga. The hope is that a healthy Luck will help take pressure off the ground game.

4. Will Luck return to form?He played through injuries last season, but Luck wasn't himself before a shoulder injury and a lacerated kidney sunk his season. The Colts, wisely, believe in Luck's overall body of work, which suggests the makings of fantastic franchise passer with Hall of Fame traits. With a deep receiving corps at his disposal, we expect last year's disaster to quickly fade into the rear-view mirror. 

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