The Indianapolis Colts were put in a precarious situation when Philip Rivers announced his retirement early on in the offseason.
Not only did the decision shock almost everyone in the organization, but there (at the time) wasn’t a clearcut option they could target to succeed him.
As we know, the Colts ultimately ended up acquiring Carson Wentz from the Eagles in exchange for a 2021 third-round pick and a conditional second-rounder in 2022 that could morph into a first-rounder if he meets certain playing incentives next season.
Given head coach Frank Reich’s long-standing adoration for Wentz, which is clearly reciprocated, this was the outcome most fans had envisioned since Indianapolis’ quarterback search began. It just always seemed like the former No. 2 overall pick was their top target, right?
While that might very well be the case, a new report suggests the Colts actually did their due-diligence on a reunion with a former superstar.
According to NBC Sports insider Peter King, Indianapolis made sure Andrew Luck was fully retired before they traded for Wentz.
The Colts reportedly contacted Andrew Luck earlier this offseason.
Though it was obviously for naught, this was a clever move on the Colts part. The media truly did its best to ignite rumors that Luck could return to his former team this offseason, so it was smart for Indy to confirm there was zero chance he would spurn retirement.
And for any fans now claiming that Indianapolis isn’t fully sold on Wentz, you’re missing the plot. Though the front office would’ve had to conduct some financial gymnastics to renew Luck’s contract, him returning wouldn’t have cost any draft assets.
The former No. 1 overall pick has admittedly been out of the league for two years now, but he would likely still be a top five quarterback upon returning. You simply cannot say that about Wentz after the repulsive season he put together with the Eagles last year.
That obviously isn’t to say we don’t believe in Wentz. He’s performed at an MVP level before and will be entering a more promising situation — in terms of an offensive line, receiving options and running game — than his five years in Philadelphia.
However, it’s Andrew freaking Luck we’re talking about here. You know, the guy who somehow lived up to every shred of hype he received at Stanford and, more importantly, helped Colts fans forget about the tumultuous end to Peyton Manning’s historic run with the organization?
We would love nothing more than for Luck to come back and lead the Colts to the promised land — he was close to doing so before retirement, if you remember — but the fact he rejected their proposition confirms he’s doing just fine without football.
As tough a pill as that is to swallow for fans in Indianapolis, they should also be able to consider it a silver lining given how physically and mentally drained he was at what turned out to be the tail end of his career.