Colts owner Jim Irsay wants a new franchise quarterback, regardless of what happens with the old franchise quarterback.
In an interview with ESPN’s Hannah Storm, Irsay was asked if the Colts could pass up a new franchise quarterback, and he answered, “I don’t see that.”
Irsay said he knows from personal experience with Peyton Manning that if you have a chance to draft a great quarterback first overall you take it. And he sounded like a man who already knows he’s drafting a quarterback and needs to decide only whether that quarterback will be Stanford’s Andrew Luck or Baylor’s Robert Griffin III.
“With Griffin and Luck and the way it’s shaping up at the top of the draft — could very likely go one and two like with Peyton and Ryan Leaf,” Irsay said. “It’s most likely one of those quarterbacks that you really feel is the best player in the draft, and where we’re at moving forward you can’t pass that up. I don’t think anyone would expect that.”
And according to Irsay, the Colts want Luck or Griffin first overall regardless of whether Manning’s neck injury will prevent him from playing football in 2012. The Colts have said they’ll wait at least another month to continue to see how Manning’s neck injury progresses, but when asked if his feelings on drafting a quarterback would be different if Manning were healthy, Irsay said, “I don’t think it would.”
Irsay also touched on the controversy created by the actor Rob Lowe, who wrote on Twitter that Manning would retire. Irsay and Lowe are friendly, but Irsay says he has no idea where Lowe would get that idea.
“I don’t know what Rob was thinking,” Irsay said. “He’s a friend but we haven’t talked in probably a couple months.”
So if Lowe comes forward with a scoop about whether Luck or Griffin is going first overall, it didn’t come from Irsay.