Indianapolis Colts star quarterback Andrew Luck has put up with enough. After leading his team to three consecutive playoff appearances with a trio of 11-5 seasons between 2012 and 2014, the Colts have been mired in mediocrity. Head coach Chuck Pagano and former GM Ryan Grigson had a toxic relationship, owner Jim Irsay has gotten into legal troubles and the team (besides Luck himself), is terrible. The Colts have gone 8-8 the last two years, courtesy of Luck being injured and their offensive line and overall defence being among the worst in the NFL. Luck is 28 years of age and can only put up with so much more of this nonsense before he eventually asks for a trade.
ESPN’s Mike and Mike recently discussed Luck possibly asking for a trade. It’s a long shot now, but you have to think he’ll be fed up within two years, and ask to be moved. So what teams make sense?
Here are 8 prime destinations Luck would want to go to, and 7 he wouldn’t even consider.
15. Want To Go: Arizona Cardinals
Going to the Cardinals would make sense in a lot of ways for Luck. He’d be reunited with head coach Bruce Arians, who was his offensive coordinator in Indianapolis during his rookie season. Arians is one of the most brilliant offensive minds in the NFL, and could help Luck rebound after a couple of down years.
Luck could also join an Arizona team with an elite defence, led by cornerback Patrick Peterson and safety Tyrann Mathieu. He’d have plenty of help on offence, led by John Brown, Michael Floyd and David Johnson. Larry Fitzgerald would likely retire before Luck were to arrive in Arizona, but he’d still have the weapons. Arizona makes a ton of sense for Luck, if both sides felt interested in reuniting him and Arians.
14. Won’t Go: Los Angeles Chargers
Philip Rivers turns 36 years old at the end of December, but there haven’t been any signs of him slowing down. Even if he were to decline and/or possibly move on from the Chargers, there’s no way Luck would even think about going to Los Angeles. Not even close. That’s because Luck would be joining a team with one of the worst offensive lines in the league. Not to mention the Chargers also play in the AFC West, which features powerhouses in the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders. No thanks!
Yes, the Chargers have weapons like Travis Benjamin, Keenan Allen and Melvin Gordon. But they have a very suspect o-line and the Chargers aren’t going to contend for Super Bowls right now. That division is ridiculously loaded, and Luck can’t possibly have any desire to play in it.
13. Want To Go: Miami Dolphins
By the time Ryan Tannehill returns to the Miami Dolphns in 2018, he will be 30 years of age and won’t have played in nearly two years. The Dolphins won’t be able to rely on Tannehill staying healthy forever, given the ACL/MCL tears and injuries he’s suffered throughout his career. If Miami were to cut ties with Tannehill, Luck would be a terrific fit for them. He’d join an offence that features exciting wideouts in Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker. Luck would also have one of the game’s top-five running backs in Jay Ajayi. Who wouldn’t want to join this offence?
Luck and young head coach Adam Gase would craft an offensive masterpiece. Remember, Gase was offensive coordinator of the 2013 Broncos that set a record with 606 points in a season. He’d be more than happy to work with Luck. Guaranteed.
12. Won’t Go: Jacksonville Jaguars
We’ve been waiting for the Jaguars to break out for years now, and it’s likely not going to happen if they keep trusting Blake Bortles to emerge as a franchise quarterback. Yes, he tossed 35 touchdowns in his sophomore 2015 season, then had just 23 against 16 interceptions last year.
Wide receiver Allen Robinson is also set to become a free agent, and it’s tough to see the Jaguars outbidding other teams for his services. Jacksonville has gone through head coach after head coach, and despite having other talents like Chris Ivory, T.J. Yeldon and Allen Hurns over the years, the Jaguars still can’t make much noise. No reason for Luck to leave the Colts for an AFC South foe, where things won’t get any better.
11. Want To Go: New Orleans Saints
The Saints always feature one of the league’s most explosive offences, thanks mainly to quarterback Drew Brees. However, the star quarterback turns 39 years of age this offseason, and one has to wonder how much gas is left in the tank. If the Saints got the chance to add Luck at the expense of cutting Brees – who’s 10 years his senior – they would have to do it.
Luck would play behind one of the NFL’s best offensive lines, led by Terron Armstead and Max Unger. He’d also have a great set of weapons in Willie Snead, Michael Thomas, Brandin Cooks and running back Mark Ingram. The Saints would help Luck stay healthy and pile up the points. Considering how offence-friendly the NFC South is, Luck would likely shine in that division. The Saints would be a wonderful fit for him.
10.Won’t Go: Washington Redskins
There just hasn’t been any luck for the Washington Redskins quarterbacks in recent years. Remember when they traded for Donovan McNabb in 2010? That certainly didn’t go anywhere. Remember when they drafted Robert Griffin III with the second pick in 2012? They got one good season out of him before injuries forced the team to release him.
Now, they have quarterback Kirk Cousins, who has yet to sign an extension and looks poised to leave the team this offseason. Washington has had very questionable management over the years, and there’s special about this team for Luck. Their offensive line is shaky, they lack a strong rushing game and tight end Jordan Reed is their lone legitimate weapon. The defence would do nothing to help out Luck, and he’d have zero desire going into the stacked NFC East.
9. Want To Go: Buffalo Bills
The Bills could have ended their 18-year playoff streak by now if they had a quality quarterback. This is not a knock against Tyrod Taylor, but he’s just not quite good enough to take them to another level. The Bills have so much talent on the roster that Luck should be enticed to come over. They have one of the league’s top running backs and play-makers in LeSean McCoy, who’d give Luck his best RB ever. Buffalo also has wide receiver Jordan Matthews and a solid No. 2 option in Robert Woods. They also have one of the league’s best defences, led by Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams and Lorenzo Alexander.
With Tom Brady nearing inevitable retirement and the New York Jets rebuilding, Luck would have to entertain the chance of joining the AFC East. He and the Bills could reign supremacy in it for a long time.
8.Won’t Go: Chicago Bears
The Bears have been a team in turmoil for quite a while now, and it’s not going to end any time soon. They have one of the league’s worst rosters, and a rebuild is on the way as we’ve seen them move on from offensive stars Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Matt Forte over the years.
Chicago may have moved up to draft quarterback Mitch Trubisky in 2017, but he’s a long way from NFL-ready. This is a team that’s going nowhere right now. Plus, head coach John Fox is much more defensive-minded and conservative, meaning he and Luck would not co-exist very well. Luck will want to join a contender that gives him the chance to win now. He won’t have any desire to join a team that’s five years away from being somewhat competitive.
7. Want To Go: New England Patriots
With Tom Brady turning 40 years of age this past summer, you have to believe retirement isn’t far off. He may have one or two seasons left in him at best, meaning that Andrew Luck would be an ideal long-term commitment for Bill Belichick. Perhaps Belichick would trust 2014 second rounder Jimmy Garoppolo to succeed the reigns of Brady, but Luck would be a far better option. As everyone knows, Belichick kind of owns Luck, going 5-0 against him in matchups, which includes a pair of playoff games.
But Belichick would love to have Luck on his team. This star quarterback would keep their championship window open for another five to 10 years without a single doubt. And who wouldn’t want a chance to join the NFL’s golden franchise? Count Luck in, coach.
6. Won’t Go: Cleveland Browns
The Browns are building a nice young core, led by pass-rusher and first overall pick Myles Garrett. But for the billionth time, Cleveland is in the middle of a long-term rebuilding project that means they won’t be competitive any time soon. So why would Andrew Luck want to go there?
Cleveland doesn’t have any clue what their quarterback situation will be like in five years (as usual), so they may feel the desire to chase Luck. But they don’t have much to offer him, outside of offensive lineman Joe Thomas. There are no big-time receivers or running backs there. Plus, why would Luck want to join a division that features three perennial playoff teams in the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers? There are better fits for Luck out there.
5. Want To Go: Minnesota Vikings
Right now, the Vikings have two capable starters in Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater, with the latter hoping to recover from a 2016 torn ACL injury soon enough. But in reality, the Vikings quarterback situation is not set for the future. Bradford is a free agent next season and could command a contract out of the Vikings’ reach. Bridgewater’s health is a concern as well.
So if Bradford were to leave and Luck were available, you have to think GM Rick Spielman would move towards getting the star quarterback. Minny has a top-five defence and a promising running back in Dalvin Cook plus elite receiver Stefon Diggs. But getting a quarterback like Luck would instantly make them a playoff contender, and they’d be well built to take down the mighty Green Bay Packers. If Minnesota wants Luck, you have to think he’d be more than happy to go there. Hard to think of a reason why he’d say no.
4. Won’t Go: San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers were once a heavyweight in the NFC, but as it turns out, moving on from head coach Jim Harbaugh after the 2014 season was one of the worst moves in franchise history. San Francisco now enters year three of what will be an absolutely miserable rebuild. Yes, they hired offensive genius Kyle Shanahan to become head coach and try to help these young players get better. But the 49ers are completely devoid of talent all over the field, and it’s hard to see them enticing Luck.
With one of the NFL’s worst offensive lines and defences, Luck has absolutely no reason to bring his talents over to the west coast. He’d way rather join a championship contender that actually gives him the players to succeed with.
3. Want To Go: Houston Texans
The Texans are one half-decent quarterback away from being a Super Bowl championship team. They have arguably the NFL’s best defence, fueled by pass-rushing stars J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney. They know how to prevent the points, but the Texans can’t really stop them, either. Houston has a world class wide receiver in DeAndre Hopkins and one of the game’s top running backs in Lamar Miller. Even though they’ve gone just 9-7 in each of the last three seasons, Houston’s been good enough to win the AFC South in the past two years.
The Texans give Luck every chance he needs to win a championship. Their defence is elite, and they have two game-changers on offence, only needing a quarterback to complement them. Even if Houston’s a rival, why wouldn’t Luck want to go there?
2. Won’t Go: New York Jets
The Jets are a rebuilding team. Throughout the past year, they’ve bid ado to Darrelle Revis, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker and Sheldon Richardson. The Jets know they have to rebuild, which is why they’ve decided to move on from veterans while staying away from big trades and free agency.
Though owner Woody Johnson would love to find a way to recruit Luck to lead his rebuild, there is absolutely no chance he wants to go there. New York always seems to be a media circus, and there is always tension between players in the locker room. There are always changes at head coach and in the front office. It’s just a disaster there. Sorry, but Luck won’t be interested in joining the Jets. He has way better options.
1. Want To Go: Denver Broncos
When Broncos GM and president John Elway wants something, he usually gets it. The two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback won the Peyton Manning sweepstakes in 2012, despite roughly one-third of the NFL team’s going after him. Elway has also added star free agents like Emmanuel Sanders, Aqib Talib, DeMarcus Ware and Chris Harris Jr. before. He knows how to win a negotiation, and he has everything to sell to Andrew Luck. A great defence? You got the NFL’s best, with the No-Fly Zone and Von Miller as its star pass-rusher.
Want some receivers? Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders sound good to me. Want a front office that knows what it’s doing and loves to win now? That’s your team, Andrew Luck. So if teams come calling and you have a say in where you go, the Mile High City is exactly what you’re looking for.
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