Owner Jim Irsay admits the Indianapolis Colts are still in mourning over the sudden retirement of Andrew Luck in August 2019.
"I don't think you ever quite come to terms with that," Irsay said in a radio interview with Indy station The Fan on Monday morning. "He's a special guy. He's a special guy for your organization, only 29 years old. I told him, 'Andrew, this is a free country and I respect your decision.' I would never want to talk someone out of that because the way this game is played, it is not a contact sport. It is a collision sport. It's a tough game."
Luck leaving shortly before the start of the season pushed the Colts to make a pledge to Jacoby Brissett, who signed a two-year contract worth $30 million. But with several prominent free agent quarterbacks and a draft rich in passing potential, the Colts are also shopping for help at the position.
For now, it's merely window shopping season in Indianapolis. That could definitely change.
Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Marcus Mariota and Nick Foles -- who has a strong relationship with head coach Frank Reich -- are among options the Colts could consider. Foles is under contract for three more seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars but his contract could push him toward the open market.
"We'll keep evaluating that position," Irsay made clear. "I mean you guys know how important that is. You know I know how important that is. I know we'll find the right answer and Jacoby can have a much higher ceiling that he has now. That's a possibility. We could draft someone. That's a possibility. We'll see what happens, but obviously that's the position that's very important."
Closing the door on Luck, who had shoulder and calf injuries the previous two seasons, isn't in Irsay's nature. He admitted there is part of him that wonders "what if" when it comes to Luck feeling revived after a season away.
"These days, for quarterbacks, they're protected more than ever," he said. "Everyone knows if you touch a quarterback, the flag is on the ground 15 yards. So I think that's a benefit. I try to make the argument (with him) also, 'What about the $700 million you're leaving on the table (laughs)?'"
--Field Level Media