According to ESPN’s Mike & Mike, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck may want out of the franchise, as host Mike Greenberg mentioned that he’s heard a ‘general sense’ from league circles that there is obvious disconnect between the star quarterback and the Colts organization:
“In the mean time, I don’t know if I want to use the word ‘rumor’, but there’s a general sense you hear from people around the league, if you talk to people who cover the sport of football right now, that there is an ever-widening gap between Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts,” Greenberg said during Wednesday’s Mike & Mike show.
“That his unhappiness and perhaps some familial unhappiness–if you will, stems back beyond this, that maybe he felt that he’d played when he wasn’t 100% healthy. He’s not playing now, and that there’s some talk with even that enormous contract and his enormous talent, that we could be seeing, right before our eyes, the end of the Andrew Luck era in Indianapolis.”
“Guys, I’m assuming you’ve heard that too because everyone is talking about it.”
Obviously, if true, this would be terrible news for the Colts and even the city of Indianapolis–who already saw its other young star, Paul George, force a trade from its other hometown team, the Indiana Pacers, earlier this summer.
Having been drafted with the 1st overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, Luck has become a 3x Pro Bowler and one of the best quarterbacks in all of football–living up to the enormous hype. The 28 year old quarterback is the Colts franchise player and possesses a rare skill-set with his arm, athleticism, deceptive speed, and overall football intelligence for the quarterback position.
Despite a consistently poor defense and offensive line, Luck managed to lead the Colts to an AFC Championship Game in 2014 and is coming off arguably one of his best seasons, as he threw for 31 touchdowns to 13 interceptions, 4,240 passing yards, and a career high completion rate of 63.5%–all while playing through a significant shoulder injury.
However, he has dealt with a number of injuries over the past few seasons, whether it be ribs, a concussion, lacerated kidney, and most recently, his throwing shoulder, which he’s currently strengthening and conducting ongoing rehabilitation for–having undergone offseason shoulder surgery with no clear timetable to return.
It seems possible that the Colts may have potentially pressured him prematurely to return from some injuries (especially now with Scott Tolzien as his back up in consecutive seasons), and that, along with the consistently shaky pass protection he’s received in Indianapolis, could be areas of frustration for the team’s franchise quarterback.
However, it does seem a bit far-fetched–at least at its surface and from what we know now.
Just last offseason, Luck signed a 6-year, $140 million contract extension that made him then the highest paid player in NFL history–which such a signing doesn’t seem to indicate that he was unhappy enough to not ink a long-term deal with the Colts organization going forward.
Additionally, his father and former NFL quarterback Oliver Luck was hired as the NCAA’s Vice President of Regulatory Affairs in Indianapolis, Indiana, in June of 2014, which doesn’t appear to be a mere coincidence that it’s the same city that his son resides in with the Colts–making it the family’s home.
Lastly, the Colts just brought in a new general manager, Chris Ballard, who’s widely regarded as one of the brightest young football minds in the sport–coming from a strong scouting background with the Kansas City Chiefs and Chicago Bears.
Whatever occurred during the ‘Ryan Grigson era’ of Colts football, Ballard hasn’t even been on the job long enough to really make an impact on Luck’s happiness or not, as the new general manager has even stressed that the franchise will take a ‘long-term approach‘ as it relates to his potential return from offseason shoulder surgery.
To me, it’s not impossible that Luck and his family may have some angst against the Colts organization with how they’ve handled some of his injuries in the past and the consistently sad state of the offensive line, but it still seems highly unlikely that it would be enough for him to force his way out of Indianapolis–especially with a new bright young general manager at the helm and after inking a long-term mega-deal.
Update (11:41 AM EST): According to WTHR’s Bob Kravitz, Luck’s agent Will Wilson has reported that there’s absolutely no truth to the Mike & Mike speculation regarding his client:
According to Andrew Luck's agent, Will Wilson, there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that Luck is disgruntled and wants out of Indy.
— Bob Kravitz (@bkravitz) September 13, 2017
Update (12:30 PM EST): Mike & Mike host Mike Greenberg appeared on ‘1070 The Fan’s Dan Dakich Show’ and clarified that while he’s not walking back what he’s heard, he’s not ‘reporting’ this either, and that his only direct conversation on this subject matter has been with with Luck’s agent–who again, denied it.
However, Greenberg’s looking to confirm what he’s heard from his deemed credible sources, who may have first mentioned it, and address this speculation again accordingly.