Luck’s latest setback has the team hoping that a cortisone shot will allow him to avoid being placed on the injured reserve and help him return to the field.
But even if Luck does return, is the 28-year old the best plan for a clearly rebuilding Colts team that may not have much of a “window” even with Luck healthy?
Moving the Sticks recently debated the idea that the Colts should think of trading the 28-year old All-Pro and the idea, at one time thought as insane, is actually viable.
The Colts, even with Luck, aren’t a perennial playoff team and Indianapolis has failed to put enough talent around Luck to make them a formidable threat to the AFC playoff picture and, now, even their division.
the fact is Indianapolis is in a complete rebuild and needs to stockpile draft picks to do a proper rebuild and it’s unclear if Luck is a valuable asset to help the Colts grow into a playoff team in a few years or simply a catalyst for assets to help the team stockpile talent.
If I were the general manager, and even with Luck’s injury, I seriously consider trading away the quarterback.
Luck’s value is still there, meaning that while he may not fetch a “King’s Random” on the trade market, his value is still good enough to fetch value.
Now regardless of how bad the Colts are as a whole and regardless of how little Luck may have around him once he returns from injury everything about Luck’s “struggles” will be handcuffed to his shoulder recovery, regardless if it the reality or not.
Therefore if Luck doesn’t bomb 400 yard games or throws a myriad of interceptions the story will be debating his shoulder and if, because of it, Luck has regressed and now has limitations to his game.
This, by proxy, drives down value.
So, Indy is still in a position of strength where dangling Luck on the market to QB needy teams could fetch their best package now, before things start depreciating.
Teams like the New York Jets could offer an attractive package and they would have competition from teams like the San Francisco 49ers/Washington Redskins (aka whomever doesn’t end up Kirk Cousins’ long-term destination), the Cleveland Browns and yes, the Miami Dolphins.
These teams would take the risk and Miami may be the most intriguing. Hey, they took a shot at Jay Cutler and gave him a lot of money to look every bit like a retired quarterback. Let’s face it, Ryan Tannehill is an expensive question mark and Miami has a team with talent that needs to avoid being wasted.
Luck is an Adam Gase dream.
Cincinnati could turn the page on Andy Dalton opting to pair Aj Green with an elite Andrew Luck instead. A dice roll that the Bengals could deem too enticing to turn down.
Denver likes their young signal callers but John Elway loves his proven All-Pros and that is why Andrew Luck would be a serious topic of discussion in the Broncos’ front office.
Add Buffalo to that list because they seem uninterested in a future with Tyrod Taylor as quarterback.
There are probably more teams that I can creatively tie to this situation but the aforementioned seem, to me anyways, the more likely linked.
But, again, the Colts need to make the decision after analyzing where they are as a unit, even with a healthy Luck in the fold.
There also needs to be some seriously honest self-evaluation. Maybe some self-deprecation to admit that they botched building a franchise team around a franchise quarterback such as Luck and agree that salvaging the value is the best course of action.
From there Indy can plan their next move because the playoffs are not in focus this season and maybe not for the next few.
But if you were Indy would you not be asking yourself the same question? Would you not be, at least internally, discussing this scenario in your head? Would you not have already at least thumbed through your contacts and mentally highlighted the teams you would call if you were to pick the phone?
The answer is yes, several times over and if it isn’t then maybe there is a bit of denial mixed with a bit of delusion that needs to be addressed before anything else.
And if you were to keep Luck, then things need to be done a lot better, on all fronts.