Less than three months after giving Peyton Manning a five-year, $90 million contract, Colts owner Jim Irsay is acknowledging that his team may be looking for its quarterback of the future in next year’s NFL draft.
Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports reports that Irsay strongly indicated that his team would be interested in a franchise quarterback like Stanford’s Andrew Luck in the 2012 NFL draft.
“Guys like that come along so rarely,” Irsay said, referring to sure-thing prospects like Manning and Luck.
The winless Colts are the first team to five losses this season, giving them an early lead in the race for the first pick in the draft. This year, the first pick seems like a foregone conclusion: Luck is considered by far the best pro prospect playing college football right now.
So if the Colts get the first pick, do they go for Luck? Or do they trade the pick to a team that will give the Colts a bounty of players and picks that could allow them to build another Super Bowl winner around Manning?
Irsay said he believes the Colts with Manning are a good team — he said he thinks they’d be 4-1 if Manning were playing — but Irsay also seems to think Luck is too big a talent to pass up.
“Even if that means that guy sits for three or four years, you’d certainly think about taking him,” Irsay said. “You see what Green Bay did with [Brett] Favre and [Aaron] Rodgers and you’d like to be able to do the same thing.”