If Andrew Luck truly is unhappy in Indianapolis, as several NFL rumors suggested this past week, then a trade from the Colts to either the Broncos or 49ers could come to fruition.
Those two teams specifically are interested in Luck’s services if he, indeed, wants out.
ESPN’s Mike Greenberg first discussed Luck’s alleged displeasure with the direction of the Colts’ franchise.
“In the meantime, I don’t know if I want to use the word rumor, but there’s a general sense you hear from people around the league, if you talk to people who cover the sport of football right now, that there is an ever-widening gap between Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts,” Greenberg said. “That his unhappiness and perhaps some familial unhappiness, if you will, stems back beyond this and that maybe he felt that he’d played when he wasn’t 100 percent healthy. He’s not playing now, and that there’s some talk with even that enormous contract and his enormous talent, that we could be seeing, right before our eyes, the end of the Andrew Luck era in Indianapolis.”
According to Bleacher Report, Lucks is said to be “concerned” about his future in Indianapolis, about “whether the franchise will ever put the proper pieces around him,” according to an anonymous Colts teammate.
Denver and San Francisco
Luck is very much a “West Coast guy,” having played college football at Stanford. Two NFL teams with ties to Stanford, and more importantly – with quarterback issues – are the Broncos and 49ers.
John Elway, of course, went to Stanford and Luck has been compared to him time and time again throughout his collegiate and pro career. Elway was hired as the vice president of football operations months ahead of the 2012 NFL Draft and Elway’s dream was to make Luck the face of the Broncos’ franchise at that time. The Broncos were never in place to get to the top of the 2012 NFL Draft to pick Luck, however, thanks to Tebow-mania and a playoff run.
Elway is very much a realist when it comes to Denver’s QB situation – the reason he traded away Tebow and let Brock Osweiler walk out the door – so it’s highly unlikely he believes Trevor Siemian is the long-term answer at quarterback.
If Luck is available, expect Elway to go all in on attempting to get him to Denver.
The Broncos’ salary cap issues have been a tad overblown in recent years, even despite having to pay back a loan from the NFL from 2011 and 2012. If they wanted to trade Luck, they would have to do an NBA-style deal and send players to Indy to create cap space – but it can be done.
The other obvious team that would jump at Luck if he’s on the block is the 49ers.
It’s long been rumored that Kirk Cousins will eventually wind up in San Fran, but even Cousins uber-fan Kyle Shanahan knows that Cousins is limited and that he is in no way in the category of a Luck. There’s also still no guarantee that the Redskins – Cousins marriage will cease next offseason.
The Stanford – 49ers ties run deep, obviously, as Shanahan is an extended branch of the Bill Walsh coaching tree, and John Lynch is a Stanford alum like Luck.
As bad as the 49ers’ current situation is, they may be closer to becoming a contender again than the Colts currently are. Indy has badly botched its drafts the past few years and Chuck Pagano could be fired as soon as next month. If Pagano is canned, look for Luck to take the entire year off.