STANFORD, CA - OCTOBER 01: Andrew Luck #12 of the Stanford Cardinal in action against the UCLA Bruins at Stanford Stadium on October 1, 2011 in Stanford, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
National Football Post's Andrew Brandt was once a team vice president for the Green Bay Packers from 1999 to 2008. One big feather Brandt has in his G.M. cap is he drafted Aaron Rodgers 24th overall in 2005. So, for us Colts fans who are wrestling with the (unlikely) possibility of the Colts retaining Peyton Manning while also using the No. 1 overall pick on Andrew Luck, Brandt offers unique insight.
Brandt has spent significant time this year watching Luck at Stanford this year, and he's come away impressed:
In watching Luck I am reminded of a player that I was around for three years, Aaron Rodgers (even though Aaron attended archrival Cal!). They both appear to be singular talents with natural leadership skills, off-the-charts intelligence, and an innate ability to tune out the extraneous noise and focus on what is important.
Brandt also did not mince words or tot any kind of line when answering whether the Colts should draft Luck and jettison Peyton Manning.
Franchises need to evolve. Peyton Manning is their past and, assuming recovery from his neck injury, short-term future; Luck could be their long-term future, and a bright one at that.
Yeah. What he said.
The additional advantage of drafting a player like Luck now is that, with the new rookie wage scale, a young quarterback is not going to cripple the franchise in terms of the salary cap. Brandt explains:
In 2010, Sam Bradford received a contract that will pay him $48 million in the first four years of his career. In 2011, Cam Newton received a contract that will pay him $22 million in the first four years of his career. In 2012, Andrew Luck (if he turns pro) will receive a contract that will pay him $24 million in the first four years of his career, still roughly half of the cost of Bradford’s.
Luck is considered by virtually everyone to be a better QB prospect than Newton or Bradford, and he will come at a cost half of what Bradford makes.
For those of you out there still delusional in thinking that Luck and Manning can coexist o the same Colts roster, Brandt throws you a bone by saying both could fit under a team's cap, but that the money would be disproportionate for one position. The Colts are severely lacking in talent after years of terrible drafting. Retaining Manning's $35 mill owed next year, and adding to that Luck's contract, is roster suicide. The Colts need that money to fill holes. This will be especially true if the coaching staff and front office are swept away, and the new folks brought in want to implement new offensive and defensive schemes.
As the season inches closer to conclusion, expect more and more articles on Luck, who is looking more and more likely to be the face of the Indianapolis franchise in 2012.