Colts owner Jim Irsay said on Tuesday that it isn’t a foregone conclusion that his team will take Andrew Luck with the No. 1 pick in next month’s draft. Irsay also suggested that Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are in fact real, and Tiger Woods is a virgin.
Here’s what Irsay said: “It’s up in the air. We have to look at this thing completely open-minded. You have two outstanding athletes, two great pure passers, two great guys from families that are incredible.”
Every year around this time an owner, general manager, head coach, or talking head from the media reports that the sure-thing-No.1-overall-pick isn’t such a sure thing at all. I remember last year the Panthers weren’t going to take Cam Newton because they wanted to upgrade their defense. Marcell Dareus, Patrick Peterson, and even Da’Quan Bowers were thrown around as potential choices for Carolina at No. 1. But when the rubber met the road, the Panthers took the obvious choice in Newton.
And so will Irsay and the Colts. (The obvious choice, that is – not Newton.) Irsay is right when he says that Luck and RGIII are two outstanding athletes and two pure passers. But Luck has been a slam-dunk to the Colts for months now and outside of the Stanford QB opting to join the Peace Corps or something, he’ll hold a blue and white No. 1 Indianapolis jersey come April 26.
That said, even though I don’t believe a word of what Irsay is saying, by no means do I think he’s going about this situation the wrong way. Even if what you’re going to do is already a foregone conclusion, you still don’t tip your hand when it comes to the draft. Ever. Outside of hammering out a contract with Luck to ensure that he gets to camp on time, there’s no benefit for the Colts to announce their intentions at No. 1. And now that the NFL has a rookie salary structure, the negotiation process has become simplified, so the Colts have less to worry about when it comes to being able to sign Luck.
Thus, if you’re Irsay, why not give the Redskins and other teams something to think about by suggesting that Luck won’t be your pick? It’s a benefit to keep everyone else on the back of their heels.
But again, Andrew Luck will be an Indianapolis Colt come next month. I don’t care what Jim Irsay is saying right now.