Fallout From Andrew Luck’s Retirement

Andrew Luck‘s decision to step away from the game of football at the age of 29 will go down as one of the most surprising retirement decisions in the history of the league. But in his impromptu press conference last night, Luck kept using the word “exhausted,” as Zak Keefer of The Athletic observes. Luck’s latest health concern, a calf/ankle ailment, was just part of that exhaustion.

Keefer sums up Luck’s run of major injury woes over the past few years quite nicely. As Keefer writes, Luck “once played an entire quarter against the eventual Super Bowl champs with both a lacerated kidney and a partially torn abdomen muscle – and led the Colts to a win. He played half a season with torn cartilage in two ribs. There was an injured thumb, a bum ankle, at least one diagnosed concussion and the torn labrum in his throwing shoulder that nearly cost him his career at age 28.”

All of those issues forced Luck to move on to the next chapter of his life much sooner than he wanted. Anyone who watched his presser could see the anguish in his face, how his smile didn’t quite reach his eyes, and how painful it was for him to make this decision. But as Luck himself said, “[i]t’s been four years of this injury-pain cycle. And for me to move forward in my life the way I want to, it didn’t involve football.”

Here’s just some of the fallout from Luck’s stunning announcement:

  • Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports that Luck and the Colts have reached an agreement wherein the team will not attempt to recoup any money to which it would be entitled under the CBA. As Joel Corry of CBS Sports notes, the team could have recovered $24.8MM from the former No. 1 overall pick ($12.8MM of the $32MM signing bonus he was entitled to under his current contract, plus two $6MM March 2019 roster bonuses). If the Colts did seek repayment, any money they got back would have counted as a salary cap credit (Twitter links). Colts fans are already taking plenty of heat for booing Luck during the team’s preseason game last night — which Luck admitted was hurtful — and it would not have been a good look if the team were to try and seek repayment (especially in light of how the club mismanaged his early career, as Conor Orr of SI.com summarizes).
  • The Colts are high on their new QB1, Jacoby Brissett, but as Stephen Holder of The Athletic says, the team needs a veteran signal-caller behind Brissett, and it’s likely that GM Chris Ballard is already working feverishly to make a move. Indianapolis has enough draft capital to swing a trade of some kind (Twitter links).
  • Indianapolis may well remain competitive with Brissett at the helm, and Matt Miller of Bleacher Report says team brass does not believe the Colts will be drafting high enough in 2020 to land one of next year’s top QB prospects (Twitter link).
  • Colts owner Jim Irsay sounds like a man who hopes that Luck will unretire at some point. Irsay said, “[y]ou know, I don’t rule it out. Because as quickly as this thing sort of descended on us, and as mysterious as it was coming upon us, it could leave the same way” (h/t Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk). It was clear that Luck had thought long and hard about his decision, so as shocking as his retirement is, it would be even more shocking if he were to return to the field as a player. But Irsay is not ready to give up hope.
  • Irsay estimates that Luck left about $500MM on the table by retiring early given the ever-increasing QB salaries and the $64MM he was already due under the remaining three years of his current deal. As Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network tweets, that’s probably an accurate assessment. But if Luck is willing to walk away from that kind of cash, it seems as though he really is retired for good.
  • Luck’s contract will toll, so if he were to reverse course and come back, Indianapolis would hold his rights for three more seasons, as Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com reminds us (via Twitter).
  • We heard last night that the Colts had known for at least two weeks that Luck was seriously considering retirement, but Ballard says that Luck only began discussing the possibility with the team Monday (less then a week ago), as Albert Breer of SI.com tweets.
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32 comments on “Fallout From Andrew Luck’s Retirement

  1. dtrainriotmaker

    Am I the only one not shocked by this news ? He been hurt seems like forever . He got his money

  2. Chris

    I think Andrew Luck was a really good QB with the chance to be great but my goodness I’ve never seen a player who didn’t really do anything get so much praise and accolades. But I guess that just speaks to how good of a person/man he was

  3. HubcapDiamondStarHalo

    I swear, looking at the comment boards on three or four articles, easily 40% of the posts have been along the lines of, “Oh, man, this screws my fantasy team!”

    Kind of a shame when vacuous entertainment overrides our concern for a human being.

    • DarkSide830

      agreed…i dont feel bad for anyone foolish enough to draft him with his injury history.

  4. Indygo

    I see the Colts keeping Chad Kelly as the no. 2 qb. He’ll have to serve a 4 game suspension first. The Colts are giving him a chance since Jim Kelly is his uncle, and Frank Reich was Kelly’s backup. He’s had a very good summer.
    I see Kelly over a veteran since if Brissett has a good season, he’ll get paid next summer when he’s a free agent.
    He’s inheriting a better team than the one he got thrown to the wolves to 2 seasons ago.
    For Luck. His wife, then his fiance, was in Europe with him during his rehab. They attended Stanford together. She’s an Olympic gymnast from Europe, and they plan to travel the world together. They have a child coming soon. I think this has as much to do with his retirement than his injuries.

  5. JJB0811

    Sounds like the Colts have a bum medical staff. And clearly, player safety wasn’t a concern for the organization. His retirement tells more about their structure than anything else. ‘Shoot’em up and go play!’.

    It simply doesn’t make sense that this latest injury, couldn’t have been properly diagnosed and led to this retirement. For 3 months, they couldn’t find his foot/ankle ailment?????

    I’m glad he walked away and there’s more than 1 way to reach mega money. The only two owners I can think of that played pro sports were the old Carolina owner (prior to the big bucks of today’s athletes) and Jordan.

  6. JJB0811

    And it apparent too the ‘midwestern fans are the nicest people’ is bogus. They openly cheered “Suck for Luck’ while Peyton was on IR going through 4 major surges if I recall, then booed Luck last night. Classless people & organization!

    • chorn47

      he should be booed for abandoning his team 2 weeks before the season. if you want to retire thats fine, but you screwed the team. in April or may they could have had options for replacing him.

      • MrMarcoux

        Wow just WOW. I’m not a Colts fan at all I hate them….but the Colts failed Luck you cant throw from the bottom of a pile. He had no o line for years he got killed.
        They boo a man who gave everything he had through all the pain, sounds like Indiania fans. I live in Indiana and this is pathetic!!!!

      • washington_bonercats

        Luck clearly wasn’t set on retiring. Dude played through horrendous injuries and gave his health to the Colts and they boo’d him because he didn’t want to ruin the rest of his life. Why on earth would he purposely screw the team? He didn’t deserve to go out like that

    • LordShade

      He deserved to be booed. He bailed on his team weeks before their season started. Retiring is fine, but do it after the season ends, not right when it begins. Totally deserved the boos.

      • JJB0811

        He wasn’t medically cleared to play. I think that’s pretty obvious. But keep supporting fickle bums who don’t care about player’s health and their own lives. I hope Peyton goes into Canton as Bronco just to show players can be spiteful as well.

  7. tiredolddude

    Always respected how Luck played the game and conducted himself, and with this decision, my admiration only grows. He made the most intelligent decision for himself and his family. Time to enjoy life

  8. Pigskin 101

    Theres more to life than football. Something Brady doesn’t know shît about.

  9. DarkSide830

    shame on anyone who booed the man. he should be cheered for having persevered this far.

  10. crazylarry

    I think whenever a player retires like this his pro rated bonus should go back. In this case the Colts are responsible for his injuries with him playing years behind that offensive line. This blame on his early retirement goes directly to Jim Irsay and letting the previous GM hang around way too long.

  11. OCTraveler

    Luck’s decision was made because of his injuries in the past plus his concern for injuries in the future – he’s walking away without forgetting who was his first coach (or what he had for breakfast).

    He’s probably also done well with/saved a good portion of his money – time to put that Stanford education to use.

    Good luck – even though I did draft you for my fantasy

  12. crosseyedlemon

    Jim Irsay’s secretary: “How many Mayflower trucks should I order for the midnight run this time?”

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