“He told us before the game, and during the game the news broke — cameras were all over him. And then some fans were booing him, which is bulls—.”
Luck told his teammates ahead of their third preseason game, which came against the Bears. The news leaked late in the game, which led fans to boo Luck when they found out. Luck even admitted that it “hurt” to have the fans boo him. Those fans probably regret their decisions, but in the heat of the moment, you could understand why they might have reacted that way. They pay a lot of money to attend games and were expecting a playoff season, and that got ripped away with one stunning announcement.
Because of his age and the abrupt nature of his retirement, questions continue to persist about whether Andrew Luck will play in the NFL again. However, all signs point to his playing career truly being over.
Luck’s father Oliver, who is the CEO and commissioner of the XFL, was asked about the possibility of Andrew returning to the NFL during an appearance on “The Dan Le Batard Show” on Wednesday. While he would not say for sure, the elder Luck said he did not get the impression this year that his son had the itch to play again.
XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck, to the @LeBatardShow, on whether he thinks his son Andrew will play again in the NFL: “I didn’t notice any hankering from him to get back on the field.”
The Indianapolis Colts have made it clear that they are not counting on Luck to return, which makes sense. While he is still only 30, Luck’s situation is similar to that of former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. They gave up playing because of all the significant injuries they suffered and concern over their quality of life going forward.
Andrew Luck made the shocking decision to retire just before the start of the 2019 season, and there has been plenty of talk about him potentially returning at some point because he is still so young. However, the Indianpolis Colts are not relying on that.
“Going into the offeason, we have to proceed as if Andrew is officially retired,” owner Jim Irsay told NFL.com recently. “So that’s how we operate now.”
According to Rapoport, the Colts may not be sold on sticking with Jacoby Brissett as their starting quarterback. Brissett has been good in spurts this season, but he has not played all that well during Indy’s current four-game losing streak. Not having TY Hilton on the field for the majority of that certainly did not help.
Brissett is owed a guaranteed $7 million in 2020 and can make up to $8 million in incentives, so his contract is team-friendly. Despite that, Rapoport expects the Colts to explore the quarterback market “significantly” in the draft.
All indications have been that Luck has no intention of returning to the NFL, which makes sense given that injuries were his reason for retiring. Much like Rob Gronkowski, Luck seemed concerned about his quality of life going forward. That is a lot different from a player who retires because they question their passion for the game.
Andrew Luck made the shocking decision to retire last month, and the quarterback is certainly young enough that he could take some time off from the game and return at some point in the next few years. The Indianapolis Colts do not expect that to happen, however.
While there was initially talk that some within the Colts organization are hopeful Luck will change his mind about retirement in the future, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported on Sunday that the team “strongly” believes Luck has played his last game in the NFL. One Colts official said the team was shocked Luck retired but would be “even more shocked if he ever came back.”
Luck did not entirely rule out a return to football in his farewell press conference, admitting that he “can’t see the future” but made his decision with a very clear mind. At least one person close to the four-time Pro Bowler said he would be stunned if Luck’s retirement was temporary.
The Colts have chosen to not seek reimbursement of the significant sum of money Luck would have been contractually obligated to pay them back, and they undoubtedly did that to maintain a good relationship with the 29-year-old in case he ever does return. However, they recently signed Jacoby Brissett to a two-year extension and are focusing on the future.
Andrew Luck’s original plan regarding his retirement was to hold a press conference on Sunday afternoon to announce the shocking story. The matter became complicated when ESPN reporter Adam Schefter broke the news on Saturday evening during an Indianapolis Colts home preseason game. Due to the news leaking, many of Luck’s teammates did not hear about the news directly from the quarterback, and Luck ended up holding an impromptu press conference after the game.
Even though he upset the plans for the way Luck was going to handle his retirement announcement, Schefter defends his handling of the news in a recent appearance on “The Dan Patrick Show,”. Schefter said that he had no awareness of the status of the Colts’ game, and moreover, his job is to report big news stories like this one.
“Number one, I’m at a surprise 75th birthday dinner for my mother-in-law,” Schefter said. “I apologize for not tracking where and when the Colts players’ preseason game was when the information’s coming into me. That’s number one. Number two, as you mentioned, that is my job when I get news. Number three, there have been any number of stories that I’ve sat on over the years. Somebody’s asked me to wait, can you just wait until I notify the player of this trade, or the coach knows he’s being fired or hired, or whatever it may be, before you report it.
“I got the information. I never stopped to think, boy, I wonder what part of the game they’re in. I wonder if this will be disruptive. I wondered how am I going to get this confirmed? Am I going to give people a heads up? Which I did. I called a couple of different people in the Colts organization to let them know that I’m going to be reporting a story. Nobody picked up. Nobody got back to me. Somebody could’ve called me back and said, hey, we’re in whatever part of the game we’re in, would you mind waiting? Nobody did that. I reported it when I felt comfortable with the information, which I would do 100 times out of 100 over again.”
Schefter added that, given the number of people within the organization who were aware of Luck’s decision long before Schefter reported it, it was remarkable that the news did not leak sooner than it did.
“The owner, GM, and head coach of the Colts organization knew last week,” Schefter said. “Andrew knew last week. Andrew told teammates on Thursday. Andrew told teammates on Friday. They discussed as an organization having a press conference on Friday or Sunday at 3. I don’t know why they waited to push it off to Sunday but they did. That was their decision. … When there are that many people who know, frankly, I am shocked that it didn’t get out sooner.”
The timing of Schefter’s report meant that fans learned of Luck’s retirement during the second half of the Colts’ preseason game. Some of those fans booed Luck as he walked off the field.
People may not like it, but that is not the reporter’s fault. As Schefter points out, the Colts could have announced it at any point before that game and chose not to.
Luck’s abrupt retirement announcement shocked and rattled Colts fans, who reacted very badly to the news initially. Luck seems to have gotten past it and not held it against the entire fanbase, and is aiming to go out on the right note. Odds are the majority of Colts fans will appreciate this and not seriously hold any ill feeling going forward.
The Indianapolis Colts have left the door open for Andrew Luck to return to the team if he changes his mind about retirement at any point, but they probably should not be counting on it.
Colts owner Jim Irsay said at Luck’s farewell press conference over the weekend that “it’s possible” the 29-year-old could have a change of heart. Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman wrote on Wednesday that the Colts also privately believe there is a chance, but a person who knows Luck told Freeman he would be “stunned” if the former No. 1 overall pick ever played again.
For what it’s worth, Luck has not entirely ruled out a return to football. However, he made it seem highly unlikely.
“I can’t see the future, but I very clearly in my mind see that I won’t (play again),” Luck told the media on Saturday.
The Colts have chosen not to seek reimbursement for the nearly $25 million Luck would have been contractually obligated to pay them back, and there are two reasons for that. The first is that they respect what he has done for the organization and all the difficult injuries he has battled through. The second — and perhaps most important — is that they want to remain on the best possible terms with Luck in case he does decide he wants to return to football.
Luck has a degree from Stanford in architectural design, and we have already heard some post-retirement ideas thrown around that probably are not going to materialize. He made it clear that his constant cycle of injury, pain and rehab took the joy out of football, and there’s no reason to think that will change as the months or years pass.