INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts have requested that NFL officials look into the possibility of improper contact between the Washington Commanders and long-retired Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, a league source told ESPN on Monday, confirming a report by The Washington Post.
Luck, a four-time Pro Bowl selection, retired in 2019 with three seasons remaining on his contract. The contract tolled after his departure, meaning that if he were to resume his NFL career, he would remain under contract to the Colts, and any improper contact by another club could constitute a violation of the NFL’s anti-tampering policy.
A source told ESPN on Sunday that the Colts were considering pursuing the matter after ESPN reported Saturday that Washington — during the team’s broad search for a starting quarterback in 2022 — made attempts to learn whether Luck had any interest in returning to the NFL.
A Commanders source told ESPN’s John Keim on Monday that the team considered Luck, among many other quarterbacks, but moved on because they figured he would stay retired, so it didn’t go any further.
The Commanders are not believed to have spoken with Luck, nor his agent, which would be a direct violation of the league’s anti-tampering policy. Whether the Commanders spoke with a third party, and whether any such actions constitute a violation, are among the details the Colts are hoping to clarify as they seek to learn more about what exactly transpired, a Colts source told ESPN on Sunday.
The NFL’s anti-tampering policy is somewhat vague, but direct contact with a player is not required for a violation to occur.
“Any public or private statement of interest, qualified or unqualified, in another club’s player to that player’s agent or representative, or to a member of the news media, is a violation,” the relevant portion of the policy states.
Colts owner Jim Irsay made his feelings known on Sunday when he tweeted, “If any NFL team attempted to contact Andrew Luck (or any associate of him) … to play for their Franchise — it would be a clear violation of the League’s Tampering Policy.”
The Colts declined any public comment on Monday, as did an NFL spokesperson.
The NFL has in the past taken serious action when tampering charges are proven. Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was suspended and fined, with the franchise stripped of two draft picks, after a league investigation determined the team violated the anti-tampering policy on three occasions from 2019 to 2022 in conversations with quarterback Tom Brady and the agent for then-New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton.
Luck, 33, has indicated on numerous occasions that he does not intend to return to the game. Last fall, he enrolled at Stanford — where he received his undergraduate degree — to pursue a Masters degree in education.
Colts ask NFL to review possible Commanders tampering with Andrew Luck