INDIANAPOLIS – Andrew Luck is focused on his new job and will let others contend with the business of football.
Two days after picking up his architectural design degree from Stanford, the No. 1 overall draft pick returned to Indianapolis to work on football and make his first big steps into the community at a Play 60 camp downtown.
The only impediment standing between Luck and reporting to training camp is signing a contract. He’s not concerned about it.
To me, I worry about getting better at football, Luck said after the event. My agent, I’ll let him take care of that.
Luck is scrambling to catch up.
He’s trying to get familiar with the city, get his timing down with teammates and still cramming to learn the full playbook, something he admits is an ongoing process.
Hardly. I’m trying every day, Luck said when asked whether he knew the playbook yet.
The Stanford graduate is hardly alone.
Indianapolis’ top three draft picks – Luck, second-rounder Coby Fleener and third-rounder Dwayne Allen – are all unsigned. The Colts’ seven other draft picks are under contract.
Team owner Jim Irsay did not expect the negotiations to take this long, thanks in part due to the new rookie wage scale that was supposed to make it easier to complete deals.
Irsay told reporters in late April he expected negotiations to proceed quickly and that Luck’s deal would be almost identical to the four-year, $22 million contract last year’s top pick, Cam Newton, signed. Newton became the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
A little more than two weeks ago, Irsay also tweeted that the two sides were getting closer to a contract. Just not there yet.
Luck’s agent, Will Wilson, has remained relatively quiet about negotiations and told The Associated Press in an e-mail Tuesday he had nothing to add.
But getting a deal done before training camp is essential to Luck’s development, especially after the predicament the Colts faced this spring. After attending a three-day minicamp in early May, Luck returned to Stanford to continue his classwork until June 7. NFL rules require rookies to complete their classwork before attending anything other than the rookie minicamp, so Luck didn’t get to work out with the Colts’ veterans until last week.
League rules also require rookies to be under contract before they report to training camp.
The Colts arrive at Anderson University on July 28. Practice begins the next day, and if Luck doesn’t have a deal in place, he can’t practice. But Luck said he’s not worried about missing the start of camp.
So Luck and about two dozen other rookies are in town this week and next to work out at the team complex, and to do some community relations. An estimated 90 children attended Tuesday’s camp just south of Lucas Oil Stadium.
The quarterback drill with Andrew Luck had to be the best, Allen said with a smile. But then I’m biased because I participated in it.
But for the rebuilding Colts and the man who will replace Peyton Manning, Tuesday is only a start.
I think it’s really nice to be a part of the first team foray into the community and help kids have some fun for a couple of hours, Luck said. Coach (Chuck) Pagano really preaches getting into the community and this is a good way to get started.
Note: The Colts signed free agent running back Mewelde Moore and released quarterback David Legree on Tuesday. Moore spent his first four seasons in Minnesota, the last four in Pittsburgh and has rushed for 2,247 yards with six TDs.