Report: Irsay has already decided to pick Luck

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The Colts continue their search for a general manager, but the decision regarding what to do with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft may already be made.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen says it is “certain” that Colts owner Jim Irsay has already decided to draft Andrew Luck No. 1 overall. (We’ve learned that declarations about the No. 1 overall draft pick this early can be dangerous.)

The Colts are waiting to find out about Peyton Manning’s health, but Irsay apparently believes Luck is too good to pass up. Irsay sees “symmetry” in having the pick.

In 1983, the Colts drafted John Elway before trading him.  15 years later, the Colts took Peyton Manning.  And now 14 years later, they plan to take Luck.

Of course, the Colts are better off saying that Luck is atop their draft board no matter where this goes from here. They could conceivably still trade the pick or Luck if another team gave them a monster offer and if Manning was healthy. Huge if.

We find it odd that an incoming general manager wouldn’t be the one making this decision. Then again, most people interviewing for the job wouldn’t want to pass on Luck either.

84 responses to “Report: Irsay has already decided to pick Luck

  1. Ring! Ring! “hey Archie, Oliver here. Now how exactly did you pull that off with the Giants and Chargers?”

  2. Why is it odd? Rumor has it that Irsay fired Polian because “he wanted his team back”, like Bowlen wanted when Reeves was booted in Denver. It isn’t surprising he wants a big voice in this decision, much like it was his decision to write a blank check for Peyton and to try to make sure he was the highest paid QB at all times.

    Meanwhile, Bill Polian was trying to hand the team down to his son, which seemed to be grating on fans, players, staff and, quite possibly, the owner.

  3. It’s strategy gents…. If he even hinted that the #1 pick wouldn’t be Luck it’d be ridiculous because you’d have sliding QBs since STL doesn’t need a QB.

    The question will be, will any team take Peyton’s current contract and if so will they trade future conditional picks for him. That’s the way to go, get two 1st round conditional picks for Manning where if he plays you get the picks.

  4. Yawn.

    They won’t trade the pick.

    We’ve been deprived of an exciting storyline here. Would’ve been open season if the Rams got the top pick.

    I’ll say again though, the Luck/Manning storyline just wasn’t NOT going to happen. There was no way.

  5. Regarding the “symmetry”……

    John Elway refused to sign with the Colts and demanded a trade.

    If Manning is healthy, he has at least another 4 years.

    Luck is not going to sit on the bench for 4 years while lesser QB’s start in year one.

    If Manning isn’t released, there is a very good chance that Luck will do what Elway did.

  6. DUH, even the Patriots, Saints and Packers would all draft Luck if they could. Why is this even the least bit surprising.

    It’s simple, draft the best person available and when it’s a QB you simply don’t even think about it.

  7. You think people are hesitant to take the Colts GM job because they don’t want to have to decide what to do with Peyton? Stressful duty as first job as Colts GM.

  8. It’s going to be Manning playing for 2 years and Luck riding the bench. The two of them will have to get over themselves. This is what makes the most since financially for the franchise. Irsay can continue to cash in on Manning for 2 more years, while he breaks all the carear passing records. And then he has the future face of the NFL locked and loaded once Peyton is done. Its a shame, but its also a business. And business wise, this is a no brainer.

  9. Let us not forget that the cost for the #1 pick has been reduced significantly since the new CBA which makes the gamble of grabbing a QB first far less.

    Match that with the upside of Luck and there isn’t a team in the league that wouldn’t draft him.

  10. even if manning is healthy u still have to take luck. one big hit can end it all for peyton manning a nerve injury is no joke. gotta to have luck ready to play

  11. There’s no doubt that Luck is going to be (at least) a very good QB in the NFL. The question is…will he be a great one? Will he be another Petyon Manning/Tom Brady? Or will he be more like a Joe Flacco or Matt Ryan type?

  12. Luck is pro ready and a smart guy from Stanford. I can’t imagine why he would agree to sit for two years when he sees Andy Dalton having success in year one and sees other less talented QBs like Tebow, Flacco, and Sanchez not only starting but making the playoffs. If Manning is healthy, he gets traded/released or Luck pulls an Elway/Eli Manning and refuses to play for the Colts.

  13. The Colts would be fools to pass on Luck. Manning got hurt. Badly. So badly that no one, not even Peyton himself, knows how much longer he’ll play once/IF he returns. Thus, if he truly is a “team player” and “cares” about the Colts organization, he’ll see that drafting Luck is simply good business. It means sustained continuity at the team’s most important position, which is a rarity in pro football, especially in a small market. If Manning wants to be traded, that’s fair, too, but I’d like to see him be a pro about it so the Colts can get close to maximum value. This can be a win/win. Everyone keeps referring to the Eli/Rivers draft. They were roughly equal in talent, so one could argue both teams “won.” This year, that is not the case. Griffin, as good as he is, is simply not in Luck’s talent bracket. If the Mannings or Lucks try to force a power-play here, I hope Irsay holds the line. And I say that as a Peyton Manning AND Andrew Luck fan. Right is right, and Irsay owns the team. He HAS to draft Luck and keep him. Best case scenario for the Colts? Luck learns under Manning for a year and becomes a better pro, Manning gets a feel-good Colts farewell tour and proves he is healthy and then the Colts get decent compensation and Manning picks his spot (to a reasonable degree) next year.

  14. “4evrnyt says: Jan 7, 2012 1:14 PM

    DUH, even the Patriots, Saints and Packers would all draft Luck if they could. Why is this even the least bit surprising.

    Because Belichick would never trade down in the first round? Julio Jones was worth two #1s, a #2 and two #4s. What is Luck worth? That’s a Herchel Walker trade, and would set up Belichick for another decade.

  15. If Peyton is healthy (a huge if), this is going to sound nuts, but I’d trade this # 1 pick for a mother load. I’m talking 4 first round pick mother load plus more. They could get it I bet. I mean the last season Manning played for Indy was a really good one and he willed that team to the playoffs. If he is 100 percent healthy, which I would think the Colts would have an idea about that by April, they might want to think about a trade. If they have any doubts about Manning, they have to draft Luck but if Manning proves his health by then and the doctor’s assure Indy he can go on for 3 to 5 more years, I say roll the dice and make the trade. Look at what teams gave up for Carson Palmer and Jay Cutler. Imagine what one stupid G.M. would give up for Andrew Luck!

  16. For anyone tempted to paint Irsay as disloyal here, bear in mind that he paid Manning’s ludicrous salary last year, despite the fact that he didn’t play a down and it appears there was not exactly full disclosure about the extent of the injury. If management knew then what they know now, they’d be idiots to give Peyton that monster contract without significant protections that weren’t ultimately included in the present agreement (there were some, but not enough). Or maybe they did know… which could go a long way toward explaining why Polian is on the street right now after a very successful run.

  17. I’ve been saying it for months now. Luck will be the starting QB of the Colts opening day next year. Peyton will be the starting QB elsewhere. There will be no “riding the bench” period for Luck. He is too good not to just throw him right in there.

    As for Peyton, the Colts will respect him and work with him and other teams to try and work out an equitable trade for all parties involved. I’m sure Peyton wants to compete for another ring in the few years he has left. The Colts, as they are right now, are not even close to competing, with or without Peyton. Why would Peyton want to spend his last few years rebuilding that franchise (again) while having to look over his shoulder at the kid every time he throws a pick?

    Peyton will go to a competitor (I say NYJ) and chase one more ring before he retires. The Colts will enter full-blown rebuilding mode with Luck and be contenders in years 2014 to 2024. Book it.

  18. there is no way the colts are going to pay peyton another $28M bonus + $7M in salary in 2012! this will not happen they will release him and take luck who will promptly want to go somewhere else!

  19. Manning will not be traded. As soon as the Colts see that he is not ready to play at his usual level, they will cut him before his big bonus is due. Who would trade for Manning with his medical history?
    He’s going to be cut to pay for Luck, ok?

  20. Thanks irsay,instead of drawing this out and creating drama you ruined it for all of us gullible football fans who were still unsure of who the Colts would pick.

  21. We all know this.

    The Colts decided to pick Luck the day they signed Kerry Collins. That’s the day they decided to bend over and let the whole league bang ‘EM for a chance to pick Luck.

  22. such BS on how a team that is so poorly managed, gets another gift from the football gods and has their potential QB for the next 13-15 years. I hope hes a bust just because of the Colts organization

  23. I have it on good authority the Niners are going to package P Willis, Vernon Davis and their 1st and 2nd rd pick for Luck

  24. This headline is so misleading, it should be titled Chris Mortensen is sure the Colts will draft Luck.

  25. @Profootballwalk: yeah, because we see how well that GM Belichick has done in the draft recently. LOL, they have missed on more picks than any other team in the last 5-7 years. There is a reason they have not won a big game since the 2004 season.

    @Tonystrong: what are you, an idiot? 4 first round picks. lololol. Peyton is owed a HUGE amount of money that must be paid by March 8. If he is paid, he becomes basically untouchable, due to the finances involved. There are only two options here, cut Manning by March 8, or pay him and he is your starter for however long you can ride him. If you don’t understand finances and contracts in the NFL, don’t make silly comments like trade him for four #1’s and a boatload more.

  26. So let me get this straight…The Colts have been paying Manning all of the money for the last 14 years, and have won 1 Superbowl. Now they want to draft another QB they will have to pay all of the money for another 12-14 years? The fact that they only won one Superbowl with Manning because they couldn’t afford to pay other talented players is glaring!
    Why would you want to continue this trend?
    I’m sure it’s nice when your team has double digit wins every year. But how disappointing would it be to year after year see that same team lose in the play offs because your one over paid guy can’t beat play off caliber teams by himself?

  27. Irsay really doesn’t have much of a choice in the matter. After such a disastrous losing season without Peyton playing, he has to rebuild using Luck.

  28. Indy is sending up the flare that manning is on the block…. No way they take luck and get him to sit for 4 years…

  29. I’d be fine sitting a year or 2 if I was Luck. Still get paid, learn behind a future HoF QB, AND let the Colts draft a few o-lineman and skill players.

  30. If I were the Colts I’d be talking to the Packers about a trade for the 1st pick for Matt Flynn. He appears to have learned very well from A. Rodgers!

    At least you KNOW a little more about what he is capable of in the NFL

  31. Sorry Colts fans but Luck most likely isn’t going to play for the Colts. He’s probably gonna demand a trade and you will be stuck with a below average team for years to come.

  32. My reliable source has told me that either Luck or Manning will be playing for the Cleveland Browns next year. Apparently The Browns are willing to give up the #4 pick this year and Next years 1rst rounder. Irsay will not tie up the amount of money both Qb’s will command for one position. Let it be written so let it be done.

  33. Irsay is an idiot. That dude should stay away from twitter and stop running his mouth.

    Outing their intentions this early probably cost them any chance at a bank-breaking trade from a team below them to get Luck. Not saying they should take it if offered, but the deal to move into the #1 spot would be a fortune of draft picks for a team that is really old.

    Also, did they even consider RGIII? I know Luck is a closer match to Manning but if April comes around an Manning’s rehab is going great, why not at least consider drafting RGIII to sit behind him for a couple of years and learn the pro-game? At the very least, due diligence…?

    Announcing this before you hire a GM is dumb because whoever comes in gets no flexibility with the top pick. Granted, 90% of incoming Gm’s would likely agree with the decision to draft Luck but why not allow them to that conclusion themselves?

    Luck is, imo, the best and a no-brainer pick for the Colts but that doesn’t mean you announce it before a playoff game has been played.

    Polian should have fired Irsay, not the other way around. Course that’s not how it works.

  34. I don’t feel bad for either Manning or Luck. Playing a game for a living and complaining about where you play or sit on a bench is NAUSEATING!!! The old play it where it lies needs to apply, play where you land, you’re very Lucky to be in the position in the first place.

  35. I see another Drew Brees/Philip Rivers situation in the making. Remember when the chargers thought they saw the best of Drew Brees, especially coming off shoulder surgery, figured it was time to part ways and bring in the young gun Philip Rivers. What a joke that was. Imagine if they’d kept Brees and drafted Larry Fitzgerald? I’d hate to say it being a raider fan, but chargers would’ve easily had a SB trophy with Drew Brees, Ladainian Tomlinson and Larry Fitzgerald. I think Manning still has gas in the tank. Manning’s awareness level is gonna be even higher knowing he does have a neck issue. Rarely do you see this man take a clean hit. On the flip side. The O-line is horrible, Joseph Addai, Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark’s days are numbered. The defense is not the same. Basically we’re looking at the 2003 Oakland Raiders. You’re right. Andrew Luck is the best choice right now. LOL. Lucky bastards. We had to rebuild around Jamarcus Russell. You guys get the cream of the crop with Andrew Luck.

  36. Peyton will mentor whoever they pick. Obviously they have to take a QB so it may as well be Luck. No brainer. The GM will be more than happy, it’s Irrsy’s decision anyway. It’s his money.

  37. they have to take Luck, blow up the team and start over. It’s time for the Colts to bring in a new wave of players

    If Manning is healthy you have to trade him, trade Dallas Clark, and let Wayne leave

    If the Colts can get high round picks for those two then they will be on the right track for the future.

    If I were the Colts I’d go….

    1. Luck-QB
    2. Dwayne Allen- TE
    3. Michael Brewster-C

    You get the new QB and TE combo for the future and a new starting center.

  38. As a Redskins fan let me say, PLEASE Tyler Wilson come to the draft!!!! we NEED you!!

    Now for this story, it’s not a shock, the only way they dont get Luck is if they have a trade in place to get RG3 and picks. if not then it’s Luck here and Peyton likely out, if they trade for RG3, then Peyton stays for 2 or 3 years, then RG3 takes over.

  39. Honestly, the Colts should take this opportunity to remake their identity and go down a different path. Instead of trying to get an amazing QB and keeping a bunch of average players around him maybe they should take this opportunity to build an awesome defense, draft a real RB, and build a team that doesn’t need one of the best QBs to ever play the game to win. If they do that then they won’t be in the situation they were in this year for a long time.

  40. The Colts would be foolish if they think all they need is a QB to turn this franchise around. Irsay, should trade the pick to have 2 picks in the first and second rounds and repeat this next year. I say if im the owner i would trade the pick to the Redskins who need a QB and the use that 6th pick to draft Griffin, then trade for another 1st round pick in the middle of the round to pick up a CB, OL, DL, or a LB. If the Colts were decent on defense this year then I can totally see drafting Luck.

  41. I’m loving this. Not saying that Andrew Luck shouldn’t or won’t be the overall #1 pick, but how about leaving your options open there Jimmy? Irsay fires the Polians [and I’m not saying it wasn’t deserved], so now he’s playing the role of “Jerrah” ! For 15 years or so, he let the football people make the decisions. But now I guess he thinks he’s ready. Gee, I remember the last time an Irsay ran the franchise from top to bottom – how’d that work out for ya?

  42. sixburghrules says:Jan 7, 2012 2:04 PM

    If I were the Colts I’d be talking to the Packers about a trade for the 1st pick for Matt Flynn. He appears to have learned very well from A. Rodgers!
    Wow. So the Packers take a backup QB with their 7th round pick… he has one very good game versus a poor defense… and now he is so valuable he should be traded for the #1 overall pick in the draft?

    Are all Pittsburgh fans this dumb?

  43. Everyone seems to dismiss the possibility that PM will be 100%, back w/Colts AND that AL will be a rookie backup for the Colts.
    I’m not.

  44. I say if im the owner i would trade the pick to the Redskins who need a QB and the use that 6th pick to draft Griffin
    he may not be there at pick 6 which is why the Redskins MAY move up, to get RG3 or Luck which is why i hope Tyler Wilson sees this as an opportunity to be drafted high and comes out

  45. Anybody who thinks the Colts are going to keep Manning AND Luck is delusional. The Colts have too many free agents (Saturday, Wayne, Mathis) and too many hole (O-line) to spend close to $60 million on TWO players. Either the cut Manning & take Luck or trade for a boatload of picks. Luck won’t be riding the bench, either way.

  46. Packers Flynn has proen ability to win inthe NFL. Luck has not.

    Colts have no real guarantee Peyton can return to the level he was. They’d be nuts not to go for Luck based on his expectations. But, first choice QB’s are mixed success stories.

  47. Anybody who thinks the Colts CAN’T keep Manning AND Luck is delusional.
    Rookie cap hits aren’t what they were.
    The Colts are definately going to lose some FA’s and they will be a different team (I hope).
    A new GM that can work the cap will be the difference between a good new team and a bad one.
    Also consider the Colts are picking higher in the draft than they have in 10 years and all the picks will be rookie scale cap hits.
    I’m realistic enough to NOT dismiss all the possibilities.

  48. One other thing:
    Luck might not have a problem with clipboard holding for a year, maybe 2.
    PM’s option is for 4 more years.
    Does everyone think that means he’ll PLAY 4 more years?
    He’ll be 36 in March, do the math.

  49. Anybody who thinks the Colts CAN’T keep Manning AND Luck is delusional
    financially, they CAN keep both, the question is, do you want to do that?? there are alot of free agents they dont have under contract including Reggie Wayne, Jeff Saturday and Robert Manthis, i see Robert gone, but i think they should try to keep Wayne and Saturday if they can.

  50. The team rose to prominence by taking the cant miss franchise QB first overall 15 years ago. Common sense says you make that move here again.

    Yes, the Colts have holes all over the place. The defense is brutal. Reggie Wayne will be shown the door. But you start the rebuilding by drafting the most important player on the field. Its been a historic run for Manning. But one bad hit in the head and he would be finished. You take Luck and you dont look back

  51. tashkalucy says:
    Jan 7, 2012 1:11 PM
    Regarding the “symmetry”……

    John Elway refused to sign with the Colts and demanded a trade.

    If Manning is healthy, he has at least another 4 years.

    Luck is not going to sit on the bench for 4 years while lesser QB’s start in year one.

    If Manning isn’t released, there is a very good chance that Luck will do what Elway did.

    Except he’s NOT healthy. This is the same surgery/situation that’s threatening the career of a 28 year old Nick Collins who is nowhere near financially secure as Peyton. Manning is 35.

    It’s extremely unfortunate for Peyton. He was in prime position to shatter all career records, but now… who knows. I’d like to see him keep going. The league doesn’t have enough elite talent at QB, and fact is, we’ll all miss him when he’s gone. But when an injury is threatening your quality of life after football, how far are you willing to press your luck?

  52. sixburghrules says:
    Jan 7, 2012 2:04 PM

    If I were the Colts I’d be talking to the Packers about a trade for the 1st pick for Matt Flynn. He appears to have learned very well from A. Rodgers!

    That’s silly and not happening, but still, I hope not. GB hits them better from round 2 on down. That’s all we need is another first round dud who takes a huge chunk out of the salary cap.

  53. the only suspense is when they till the guy on the roster, a “Quan Cosby,” whatever that is, that is jersey # 12 is now someone else’s.

  54. Oooooo. The Kim Kadashian, I mean, the Andrew Luck show. Another media created “reality star.”

    All I know is, Andrew Luck is the media chosen QB for 2012 just like all the other media chosen QBs. His over the top hyping only means if he sucks we won’t hear abour it. And if he’s half way decent it will be maginifed to appear as EQUAL AS Peyton and the other vets.

    Too bad QBs like RG III and Cam still have to prove themselves under clouds of questions about their abilities. While Luck gets a free pass because he’s “smart and went to Stanford.”

  55. @sterilizecromartie

    I can’t say that all Steeler’s fans are that dumb, but about 98% of them on this website are.

  56. Of course he has, publicly at least. Luck is the most hyped player since Manning so it is a very smart move. No matter what his plans, it makes sense to project that he really wants Luck no matter if he does or not to increase his leverage in any trade. NFL teams needing a Quarterback will probably be making very good offers for that first overall pick.

  57. I hate to say anything nice about the colts but here I have to. Why? Because by making this public now irsay is saying to the rest of the league – “we’ve got 3 months to talk, so let’s talk.”

    If he doesn’t hear anything he likes – he’s still got the #1 pick.

    Anyone remember Jeff George?

  58. As a Colts fan this hurts. Hopefully we have a smarter GM that will talk Irsay out of this idea. We have major holes in the team with a number of FA that need to be resigned. I would trade the pick for as many players/picks as possible for Luck.

    Just take a look at Washington for example. We trade #1 for their first and second this year along with 1st next year plus D. Hall. Peyton gets his $28 mil (heck we paid him $26 to sit all years last year so why not give him one more chance). We take Michael Floyd as our receiver to replace Garcon (FA this year) as the big target Manning has missed, D. Hall adds a need to our CB, then use the two second rounds to pick up either a DL and another CB/Safety or more depth on the OL. Heck I would even consider using the two second round picks to trade back up to get the Center from Wisconsin instead of resigning Saturday.

    If this does not work (Manning is injured and can not play) then you have two picks for 2013 to pick up Barkley or Jones. We need the Belichick or Jimmy Johnson mind of drafting and that is to stock pile picks.

  59. dmacdaddy30 says:Jan 8, 2012 10:35 AM

    As a Colts fan this hurts. Hopefully we have a smarter GM that will talk Irsay out of this idea. We have major holes in the team with a number of FA that need to be resigned. I would trade the pick for as many players/picks as possible for Luck.
    I am also a Colts fan, and I will be livid if they do not take Luck. You’re idea makes sense on paper (except the D Hall thing… he blows), but you could have made the same argument back when they took Manning. Instead they took the franchise QB, built around him, and then enjoyed a dozen years of success. They need to do the same thing now. Take the QB first. Worry about everything else after that.

  60. To sterilizecromartie : If you are a Colts fan then you would remember that the only person that we were missing on the team in 1998 was a true starting QB. We had a RB in Faulk, we had a young WR and TE with Marvin Harrison and Ken Dilger, plus we had a young LT in Tarik Glenn with a decent O-Line.

    This year is very different. We have a QB (although injured) but when healthy one of the best. Two FA WR in (Wayne and Garcon), a young O-Line and no true RB that can control a game (Brown, Addai, and Carter are not dominate backs like Faulk or Edge). Because of the make up of the team this is a different situation and the reason that we need a stock pile of picks.

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