I’ve recently been trying to figure out the craziness in Indianapolis involving the status of quarterback Andrew Luck. Along the way, I’ve developed four different theories for the lingering absence of Luck from practices and games, along with the apparent absence of a plan to replace him while he heals from January surgery.
They are: (1) good, old-fashioned incompetence; (2) a conscious willingness to give Luck a redshirt year if necessary; (3) an effort by new G.M. Chris Ballard to tie one hand behind coach Chuck Pagano’s back in order to make it easier to fire him; and (4) a possible desire by Luck to run out of Indy while he can still walk.
While sounding this out on various platforms (including PFT Live and Wednesday’s PFT Live afternoon podcast), I made it clear that it’s just speculation, arising primarily from what I’d want if me or my kid were employed by the Colts. Look at what they’ve given him or, more accurately, what they haven’t given him. As Luck enters the front end of the prime years, his career is currently being wasted, putting him far closer to Archie than Peyton on the Manning scale.
Speaking of Archie, the notion that Luck possibly wants out can be traced to the Manning family patriarch, sort of. Luck’s father, Oliver, was a teammate of Archie’s. Oliver knows how the business works, and he’d surely prefer his son to emerge from the NFL in one piece. More than 13 years ago, Archie engineered a San Diego stiff arm for Eli; why shouldn’t Oliver at least consider an Andrew extrication from Indy?
Apparently, others have been taking it beyond speculation, actually couching it as rumor. Which has prompted Luck’s camp to try to shoot down any talk of discontent. Wednesday night, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media said on the air that Luck’s agent/uncle (or uncle/agent) called the non-rumor rumor “simply false.”
It’s odd that Luck’s camp would even address the situation at this juncture. The fact that it was shot down on the record will serve only to get more people thinking and talking about it.
Which could be part of the master plan. If so, at least someone would have a plan of some sort when it comes to the current state of Andrew Luck’s career.
And before pooh-poohing a possible trade because of the cap hit, consider this: The net charge for trading him in 2018 would be lower than the net charge for keeping him.
Besides, if he decides that he truly wants out (which frankly he should), why would the Colts want to keep him around? If the quarterback isn’t all in, things will only get worse. If, based on Sunday’s outcome in L.A., that’s even possible.