Sunday’s NFL transactions contained a line that would have been regarded as inconceivable only 36 hours ago.
“Indianapolis. Luck, Andrew. QB. Stanford. Reserve/Retired.”
The move means several things. For starters, it’s official: Luck is retired, and off the 90-man roster.
Beyond that, it’s a little murky. NFL Media (i.e., the NFL) explained on Sunday that, if Luck tries to return to the Colts before the trade deadline, he has to pass through waivers. That conflicts with my prior understanding of the rules, which was that a player on the reserve/retired list could emerge from retirement at any time before the Tuesday after Week 13, and that if he were released when attempting to return after the trade deadline, he’d be required to pass through waivers.
The difference, apparently, is that Luck landed on the reserve/retired list after reporting for the start of training camp.
None of this matters unless Luck is inclined to have a change of heart in 2019. If it’s true that he’ll have to pass through waivers before returning to the Colts, someone would surely snatch his contract if he tries to do that, even if only to trade his rights back to the Colts.
I’ve sought clarification from the league. It’s possible that the procedures aren’t as clear as they could be or should be because the situation is largely if not completely unprecedented. It could be that Luck’s situation results in a tweaking of the rules that would allow a player on reserve/retired a clear shot at returning before the Tuesday after Week 13, with waivers implicated only if the team chooses to release him after the trade deadline.