More clues emerge regarding when Colts knew Andrew Luck may retire

Getty Images

In the immediate aftermath of Saturday night’s stunning news that Colts quarterback Andrew Luck had retired from football, mixed messages emerged regarding when the team knew it could happen. Rumors flew that they knew since March; the team privately insisted that they found out only this week.

Looking back at the information that emerged in the aftermath of the announcement, there’s reason to believe that the team had known, at least for a little while.

Asked whether he tried to talk Luck out of retiring, Irsay provided an explanation that strongly hints at this not being a bolt from the blue.

“I again tried to be the best sounding board I could for him,” Irsay told reporters. “As a father of children that are older than him, you know, life has its spiritual journey, people. I mean this is, you know, this stuff is kind of a ‘bigger than all of us’ sort of issue. And I would never try to talk someone out of something that their heart truly wasn’t into. And so I was there to aboslutely support him and counsel him. Big decisions, you hold off on it. As long as you can, hold off on them. And then when you have to make them, then you make them.” (Emphasis added.)

This clearly implies that Irsay initially told Luck to take some time. Which also implies that it didn’t first come up on a Monday, with a final decision made five days later.

Indeed, Irsay’s explanation meshes with the idea that Irsay, at a minimum, knew that Luck was wrestling with a decision that didn’t absolutely, positively have to be made until the team commenced full and final preparations for the regular-season opener.

Likewise, consider these August 14 quotes from coach Frank Reich, which were made when everyone believed that Luck’s calf/bone/high-ankle issue were the impediment and not angst regarding whether to continue to play at all: “By the end of the third preseason game, you have to know something. You have to be able to make a call and move from there in whether we’re full speed with Andrew after that third preseason game or if at that point we’re going with Jacoby. We’ll make that decision with that when the time comes.”

Maybe that’s when the Colts wanted Luck to provide his final decision. Regardless, that’s when he did.

Even if the Colts didn’t know before this week, former Colts assistant coach Clyde Christensen had an inkling.

“I stay in touch with him and kind of knew that he was contemplating it,” Christensen told Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.

If Christensen knew, others knew. And someone with the Colts surely knew.

But why make it known until Luck makes a final decision? In hindsight, it’s amazing no one blabbed while Luck was simply trying to make a decision. Regardless, it sure seems like this one was percolating for a while. The question will now be, for the next four or five years perhaps, whether a decision to return is percolating.

63 responses to “More clues emerge regarding when Colts knew Andrew Luck may retire

  1. No one blabbed except for that idiot adam schefter. We get it Adam, you break NFL news. You can tell Adam never played a down of football. He just had to wait till the game was over, but the clicks mattered more. He out luck in a awkward situation

  2. And I’ll stay tuned to PFT so as not to miss a single rumor, along with excellent insight and commentary from the staff, of course.

  3. Eric Reid has contemplated it.(he should have just joined the pro victim circuit)
    Nick Foles contemplated it. (Andy Reid helped talk him out of it)
    Jason Kelce contemplated it. (he decided to play this year)
    Gronk contemplated it after LII. (but played another year)
    Chris Long contemplated it after LII and again this year (his role changed as did his decision)

    Fans and the media don’t have any right to know about contemplation unless the player decides to share it. In Gronk’s case you could see the shock over the betrayal of something he said to someone in confidence.

    No one can know at what point Luck’s decision became final. No one expected a simple ankle injury to be so strange, so painful, and so tough to heal and recover from. We were hearing about bones we’d never heard of before regarding this injury.

  4. So all the fans who bought season tickets on the premise that luck would be there are screwed. It’s one thing if he was injured during the season , That’s the risk ticket holders take but if the Colts knew he wanted to retire they took that money under false pretenses.

  5. The NFL needs to do an investigation into Luck’s medical background. The NFL will never care about the random play who barely makes the squad and is gone by week 5 but it should care about the injury history that forced one of your star players to quit right before the season. Was his injury history properly recorded in the injury report or were the Colts lying about his health for years, possibly with the intention of selling more season tickets.

  6. Why does it matter when the team knew? If they were ok with giving him the time he needed, why are you making such a big deal out of when they knew?

    It simply doesn’t matter, and harping on it is an insinuation that the media is entitled to such information when they really aren’t.

  7. Also, he should of knocked off his Captain Andrew Luck Twitter thingy that his was a social manipulation…you don’t don’t say you are exhilarated for a new season on July 24th, say your patient and steadfast and sanguine (optimistic or positive, especially in an apparently bad or difficult situation) on Aug 17th, say the doctors (sawbones) are holding him so he’ll be ready for the regular season (the actual campaign) on the 21st, and then announce your retirement on the 24th.

    I’m sure he is going to have surgery cause it’s pretty clear his Achilles was going to blow at some point. He knew it, and when all the rehab showed that surgery was the only way, and that it would be another hard year of rehab, he said enough is enough…but to call it a calf injury, then a bone injury to to extend the masquerade just like they did with his shoulder injury to hide the fact that he was going to miss another full season, that is now two times for the Colts…
    The Colts knew season ending surgery was a possibility but fabricated it as a “baby cow” problem…then doubled down with it being related to the bone. They are should of just kept there mouths shut.

  8. Not sure why it would change the outcome. They had a serviceable backup QB in the fold, doubt they wanted to use assets to trade for a another. It’s cool they didn’t make a stink about it and let the guy announce it on his terms.

  9. I don’t understand why this storyline is worth following up on given the timeline. So the Colts had a week or so to try and talk Luck out of retiring? What difference does that make?

    I guess I can’t see the value of whatever the smoking gun is that’s out there.

    It does read as though Luck tried to do this as upfront and as honestly as possible.

  10. What I’d like to know, frankly, is who in the Colts organization did “blab?” It’s pretty clear neither Luck nor the Colts wanted word to get out when and how it did.

    I do hope the Colts take steps to find out, and to deal appropriately with the person who leaked the information.

    To me, that means firing the jerk. At a minimum.

  11. All the liars in the front office better get their stories straight. His retirement lands squarely on the shoulders of the fools that failed to protect him early on. They knew it was coming.

  12. The colts are so inept that a patriots coach knew this before any of them. They’re that much better than you guys!

  13. This could be a Brett Favre-style retirement. Luck is hurt again, facing more painful rehab. He ‘retires’, gets healthy over the next year and returns to the league in another spot.
    After being booed by the great Colts fans, he could Favre-it and pick another team.
    The Colt fans should b3e ashamed of themselves.

  14. I could be wrong as I did a quick Google search but it seems like luck and his wife are expecting their 1st kid. With Luck going on 30 I could see him sitting out for 5 years until his child starts school and then I think is when he would start to think about coming back if he’s stayed healthy since leaving if he ever thinks about it at all.

  15. And when they couldn’t talk him out of it, they leaked it to BSPN to punish him for it. Luck deserved better than that trash compactor of a franchise, they should never again be entrusted with a player of his talent for the good of the sport.

  16. The Frank Reich quote is about the injury.

    But it does seem likely that Luck was open with some confidantes about whether or not he wanted to keep playing.

    That may even explain why he stopped practicing and there is “mystery” shrouding this injury, which went from being minor to being something that kept him off the field.

    Maybe what kept him off the field was hesitation regarding whether or not he wanted to keep playing. If that’s the case, it was wise to get Brissett as many reps and and action with the 1s as possible.

  17. I think it’s all Ryan Grigsons fault… never gave the dude a decent line = cripled by 35-40!

  18. Jacoby is UFA in 2020 and conditions to trade him this Feb were ideal and Colts had offers but kept him – I warned Colt fans regularly that this was a red alert, but they didn’t like to hear it. And sadly I doubt Colts ever cared about Luck the human and so didn’t care whether he retired, for if he couldn’t play this year they’d have prob moved on from him anyway – hence, ta da! – keeping Jacoby.

  19. Of course they knew months ago they lied to sell season tix

    Colts season ticket holders should file a class action suit against the team

  20. In another article on PFT, it is reported that the organization is allowing him to keep the money they could potentially recoup, something like 24 million. In the article, quotes from Jim Irsay make it obvious he knew this was coming for at least a few weeks, perhaps several weeks. It’s all right on ProFootballTalk, the best NFL news site around

  21. Luck probably thought of retiring during the rehab of his shoulder injury that cost him the 2017 season. It’s a private matter, why people think they are entitled to know what was going on is the sign of the times.

  22. Good on Luck! An option to live your life pain free rather than playing hurt for another single down was a smart move. Luck chose his life over football. God speed to Mr. Luck!

  23. He said it. it’s been an endless cycle of getting hurt, rehabbing, getting hurt again. Waiting until 2 weeks before the season starts is a Barry Sanders level of deception towards the team & fans. Robert Smith did the same thing to the Vikings. Crippled them for several years.

  24. Give the Colts organization some respect. This didn’t leak until the day it was announced which means they were giving him as much time as they could for him to make the best decision for himself. Not many organizations would do that and so far I’m not sensing anyone on the Colts end feeling like Luck mislead them.

  25. At least he is being honest about what he said. The Colts said he could IR, keep the 29 mil and if he felt ok in 6 or so weeks he could still play and he said no. Coming back ment pain, injury, the very thing he now wants to avoid.
    Good for him, wish him well. We will all miss that arm of his but its his life and there are bigger things ahead besides just football.

  26. The Colts have a storied history of lying about the severity of injuries. My gut tells me Luck CAN’T play for the foreseeable future. Mark my words, sometime this week we will find out he was looking at another year on the sideline. WAY more to the story.

  27. I’m just waiting for Doug Gottlieb to steal some more credit cards or get a DUI or something so the Twitter world can put him in his place.

  28. Well, there goes you Kaepernick angle… ‘could team A consider calling Luck out of retirement??’

  29. How can a guy retire over an injury that is so bad it causes him to give up and that has supposedly been going on for a long time and never was reported?

  30. Because Colts fans will not buy tickets if they knew this was an option hence the boo’ing as he left the field. NFL Football isn’t a “die hard” type sport in Indianapolis so if anything goes wrong with the Colts those tickets start selling for $5 on ticket broker sites real quick.

    At least Josh McDaniels has someone to relate to in the “I told the Colts I’d be with them and then jerked the carpet right from under them at the last second” club.

  31. bakerthetdmaker says:
    August 25, 2019 at 10:53 pm
    No one blabbed except for that idiot adam schefter.

    Ummm…if ‘no one blabbed’ how did Schefter know?

  32. with all the bad things that have happened to the Colts’ franchise since the 2014 AFC Championship Game, you’d think they must have done something bad to deserve it. What could that be?

  33. if they arent going after the bonus money,,, his agent probably negotiated this in the spring… the agent’s angle would be as suck

    Agent – Hey if he retires now your season ticket base implodes…

    Irsay – yes we realize this, so we don’t want to let anybody know about this

    Agent – So we will hold off until late in training camp, we keep the bonus money and you keep your season ticket base for the year

    Irsay – sounds good to me, and I might talk him put of it, this plan gives me some room to try and convince him to stay

    Agent – this is a good deal, and if you guys tank for Tua, maybe I can represent him, at the very least the other owners will know I am a team player, can you spread that word to the others?

    Irsay – Of course I can.

  34. Who cares when they learned he was retiring? The REAL question is how long were they aware of the scope of his injuries. With the degree of pain it sounds like he was in he should have been a fixture on basically every injury report, week after week, for YEARS. Yet, he wasn’t. I doubt the NFL is going to want to dig into that for fear of getting a black eye but if they’re going to require injury reports they need to make sure teams aren’t lying which appears to have been the case here.

  35. The Colts knew he contemplated retirement for about 2 weeks. He decided last Monday. This is a non story.

    Luck by retiring now gave up his base salary for 2019 and a roster bonus due in September totaling $15.125mm. That’s probably why the Colts let him keep the bonus money because Luck could’ve strung this along and collected another $15.125mm.

  36. This lying about injuries is nonsense. The Colts complied with the injury report requirements.

    It’s sad that people post made up cheating allegations on this site, yet when their team gets caught red-handed cheating and punished they deny it and make up lies.

  37. >>>At least Josh McDaniels has someone to relate to in the “I told the Colts I’d be with them and then jerked the carpet right from under them at the last second” club.<<<

    Maybe someone should look into why coaches and players are jerking the carpet right out from under them at the last second?

    I find it hard to feel bad for the Colts' coaches and management. Or any other team that finds themselves in the same situation for that matter. Teams do this to players all the time. There will be guys on rosters right now that will be cut days before the season starts and jobs if not careers and livelihoods will be gone forever. It's paid professional sports and happens.

    Andrew Luck owes no one anything in that organization as they wouldn't if some younger gun outplayed him this preseason and they let him go. He owes more to himself and family and that more than likely played a huge roll in his decision. Hopefully the guy will have a great and healthy life with his wife and kid(s) to come for many years and many football players did not get that as we've seen these last couple of years. If anybody doesn't need the rigors of professional football it's a guy who has already made millions and has an architectural degree from Stanford.

    If there's anyone that has lost or who I feel bad for are the Colt fans that money is hard to come by and do what they can to put aside some to take a kid or two to a game to see Andrew Luck and now that won't happen with the seats that have already been purchased.

  38. Looks like Josh McDaniel made the correct call after all. I think we will find out soon that Luck’s injury is worse than reported. WHAT? The Colts lied about an injury!

  39. The real loser in this story is not anyone involved in the Colts’ organization or Andrew Luck, of course. No, it is the fans. The ones who have season tickets, bought DVD documentaries, and paid for a Luck jersey within the last 2 years are the people this will affect the most. Multimillionaires and billionaires are still happy.

  40. dden5000 says:
    August 26, 2019 at 12:20 am
    Also, he should of knocked off his Captain Andrew Luck Twitter thingy that his was a social manipulation…you don’t don’t say you are exhilarated for a new season on July 24th, say your patient and steadfast and sanguine (optimistic or positive, especially in an apparently bad or difficult situation) on Aug 17th, say the doctors (sawbones) are holding him so he’ll be ready for the regular season (the actual campaign) on the 21st, and then announce your retirement on the 24th.

    You do realize that the twitter account isn’t his and is managed by someone else? And is hilarious…

  41. Can we go back in time noting that McDaniels decided last minute he didn’t want the job. Could he tell that Luck’s head wasn’t really in the game? Makes his decision look a lot better now than it did back then.

  42. It’s Indy…if the situation was cut and dried, no muss, no fuss everyone would be scratching their heads. Irsay at the top gives the world a clue, just sayin’

  43. Good for Luck & his family. He will never have to work again and it was his decision to make when he wanted to make it. Having seen many QB’s Peyton, Elway, Farve it’s always a tough decison not cause of money just leaving a game you’ve played your whole life. As to Schefter, many times he has held a story if he was asked to. I live in Denver and he was at a party for his father in law and had no idea the Colts were even playing a game. And BTW, this is his job to report – period. As to Irsay who the hell would ask him for any kind of advice?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!