It has been believed for months that the Colts will take quarterback Andrew Luck with the first overall pick in the 2012 draft. And while Irsay now concedes via Twitter that “[t]hings have always pointed toward #12,” Irsay claims that the “eval process is OpenMinded.”
But while the process my be open minded, it will be hard for the Colts to make the best possible decision with the primary alternative to Luck, Robert Griffin III, refusing to work out for the team privately.
Though Griffin isn’t working out privately for anyone, we firmly believe he wants to go to the Redskins, but that he also doesn’t want to create the impression he’s spurning the Colts.
So why wouldn’t Griffin want to be the first overall pick? As previously explained (since it’s a slow day, I’ll explain it again), the new rookie wage scale dramatically reduces the financial benefit of being the first overall pick. Moreover, the greatly reduced value of a top-five rookie deal makes the second contract a much bigger factor.
The Colts have shown a willingness to ride out every last game of a franchise quarterback’s deal, forcing Peyton Manning to complete a six-year rookie contract before getting a second deal, and a seven-year contract before getting a third one. Thus, it’s safe to assume that the first overall pick will have to finish five years before getting a new contract.
In contrast, Redskins owner Daniel Snyder may be more willing to rip up his first-ever franchise quarterback’s contract after three years, the new minimum for renegotiations of rookie contracts. Moreover, a larger market and a lower bar means that it will be easier for Griffin to succeed on and off the field in D.C.
Given those factors, maybe Luck would prefer to go to Washington, too.