Earlier this season, NFL Network reported there’s some fear in the league that Luck could demand a trade to avoid playing for a particular team at the top of the draft board. John Elway did it to the Baltimore Colts in 1983, and Eli Manning did it to the Chargers in 2004. (There’d be some ironic parallels if Luck did it to Peyton Manning‘s Colts in April.)
But seriously, how attractive would Indy be in Luck’s eyes, aside from a desire to avoid the public-relations fallout that would come from demanding a trade before playing a single down as a pro? (And even with that, the storyline has since been pushed toward the bottom of Elway’s and Manning’s biographies.)</p.
Peyton has become the Colts’ golden child, and it would seem unlikely that he’d want to move on from that situation. Sports Illustrated also reported it will be difficult to trade Manning next season because the Colts owe him $28 million right off the bat. It wouldn’t make much sense to pay him that much money to let him win somewhere else, and it would make even less sense to outright release him.
So right there, it would seem like Luck would have to back up Manning for at least one season. Naturally, that’s not the worst thing in the world, and it could probably help Luck long-term. But from a financial standpoint, how much is Luck’s image worth as a backup to a Hall of Famer in Indianapolis’ media market?
For those reasons, it’s not unrealistic to think Luck might force his way out of Indianapolis. Luckily for the Colts, they could acquire a king’s ransom by unloading Luck in a trade.
Let’s take a look at some of the teams that figure to be high on the draft board and might be more appealing to Luck’s camp.
Dolphins (3-7): Their ownership group has been atrocious in the last two seasons, but Luck might like a couple things. First, the owners are so star-driven that it’s borderline crazy, so they’d market him in a major way. Plus, the lights shine brightly in Miami, so Luck would be a big deal down there, especially for a fan base that is parched for a quarterback to make up for the void since Dan Marino retired.
Redskins (3-7): Head coach Mike Shanahan knows how to coach a quarterback, and the Washington market loves its football. The NFC East is always all over national television, too.
Chiefs (4-6): They’re moving in the right direction with a good group of young players, and Luck would start right away. Plus, with the current state of the AFC West, he might be able to win right away, too.