The Colts are once again in the market for a quarterback after the predictable retirement of Philip Rivers.
The 39-year-old quarterback had one final season left in him after a 16-year stint with the Chargers, leading Indianapolis to an 11-5 record and berth in the AFC playoffs. It’s certainly possible that the team retains backup Jacoby Brissett and gives him a shot at the starting role again after he led the team to a 7-9 record in 2019, but owner Jim Irsay isn’t opposed to adding another name to the mix, should that person show interest.
“He knows how much we’d love to have him be our quarterback, there’s just no question about that,” Irsay said Wednesday (via USA Today). “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, of course, knows Luck’s intention is to remain retired. The No. 1 overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft retired in August 2019 — after playing just seven years in the league — citing “a myriad of issues” related to his health. As he put it, he was stuck in a cycle of injury, pain and rehab that was taxing not only to his physical health, but also his mental health.
Either way, don’t expect Irsay to drop late-night texts or show up unannounced at Luck’s home.
“We don’t want to be annoying by always saying, ‘Hey’ … there’s no point to that,” Irsay said. “He knows we’d love to have him back, but only he could decide that, and right now, he’s retired.”
Assuming the Colts don’t trade up in the 2021 NFL Draft, they likely will have their pick of several interesting quarterback prospects behind the likely top choices of Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields and Zach Wilson. Those include North Dakota State’s Trey Lance, Florida’s Kyle Trask and Alabama’s Mac Jones. Whether they go that route, look for a trade or stick with the in-house candidate remains to be seen.