January 28, 2021
In a perfect world, Andrew Luck would be the answer to the Colts’ questions at quarterback. But owner Jim Irsay said Wednesday that Indianapolis understands that will not be an option in 2021.
Irsay quipped on Wednesday that he plans to frequently check his fax machine, a reference to the way Michael Jordan announced his return to basketball from a brief baseball-motivated retirement.
“I really think it kind of stands where it stands,” Irsay said. “I think, like I’ve said before, Andrew’s retired.”
Luck, 31, was the No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft. He retired during the 2019 preseason and has recently told friends, including just-retired Colts left tackle Anthony Castonzo, he’s loving life as a dad.
“He knows how much we’d love to have him be our quarterback, there’s just no question about that,” Irsay said. “But at the same time, we know for it to work out, he has to be the one that says, ‘You know what? I’m ready. I want to really create a little bit of history, in unprecedented aspects.”
Irsay said the Colts will embrace the “opportunity” to get better at quarterback and has already met for hours with coach Frank Reich and general manager Chris Ballard about finding Philip Rivers’ replacement this offseason. Rivers retired last week after one season with the Colts, who went 11-5 and reached an AFC wild-card game.
The next starting quarterback for the Colts will be the team’s fourth in as many seasons, barring Luck’s return or the Colts choosing to give Jacoby Brissett another shot as No. 1.
Irsay said he believes the Colts are “close” to being title contenders.
They are being linked to veteran quarterbacks who could be on the trade market this offseason such as Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions.
But Irsay doesn’t think Luck will turn out to be the answer this time. He does sound willing to be wrong.
“I think he’s happy, he’s raising his daughter, he has a wonderful family,” Irsay said. “He’s a great Colt and he knows that he can come back any time he wants, but at the same time, we respect that he’s made that decision.”
Luck, the NFL’s No. 1 overall draft pick by the Colts in 2012 out of Stanford, went 53-33 as a starter over six seasons in Indianapolis. He threw for 23,671 yards with 171 touchdowns and 83 interceptions. His 40 TD passes in 2014 led the NFL. He was named to the Pro Bowl four times, including in his final season of 2018.
(Field Level Media)