By now, you know all about former Colts QB Andrew Luck’s decision to retire two weeks before the start of the season after just seven years in the league, and you may or may not have a strong opinion on it.
However, we wanted to get away from the fan reaction or the applause on social media and focus more on how, or if, Luck’s move might affect scouting and evaluation. Our question to some of our friends in the scouting community was this: With money exploding and head injury concerns already creating doubts among players about long careers, do you think scouts will start wondering if players with excellent academic credentials (like Luck) will have shorter careers and/or leave prematurely?
Here are a few of their reactions.
- “It comes down to the love of the game and if a player really needs ball I guess…. everyone is wired differently, though. The guys who are overly analytical could raise questions moving forward. Mental toughness is definitely high on the scale, regardless of position.”
- “With the Luck decision, no, I don’t think I would question what could potentially happen to a player down the road in their career. Luck’s mentality and attitude was second to none. He laid (it) on the line, probably to a fault. He’s a total winner as a person. You can’t ask for any more. Each player’s path is different, as well, with health and injuries. (Former Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski is) very similar. The players today are just more informed and educated about training, health, and safety, along with quality of life. The older generation of players had no choice, other than to exhaust their careers, and the young guys see the consequences.”
- “I don’t think it will be something that comes into play too much. This isn’t a common occurrence. If and when it does, then it could become a piece of the puzzle that would require some more thought. It wasn’t like he retired after 2-3 seasons. Most players don’t play for as long as he did, regardless. If you get seven years out of a player, you’d be fairly happy. It stinks because he played at a high level last year, but his body just couldn’t sustain it. (Still,) the timing is awful. Go on (injured reserve) and then retire. They’re going to let him keep the money, so they could’ve worked something out. That part is rough.”
- “I think scouts will only ask that question on extremely elite players. I could see it coming up with (Oregon QB Justin) Herbert, for sure. I do not see it becoming a widespread thing though. Luck is just one in a million that’s insanely talented and insanely intelligent – he thinks on different wavelengths than 99% of players and probably 95% of humanity.
- “We are concerned with all players thinking that way regardless of the academic credentials. But we don’t know if it was his mind that hurt more than the body? He fought through a lot to get to this point, and obviously felt satisfied with what he accomplished in his career. Satisfied players don’t press on; they drop out. I want the ones that want to play to make money and take care of their families, but also want to win a championship! Most are happy with money and taking care of the family.”
We’ve got more reaction in today’s Friday Wrap, plus plenty of other good stuff for fans of scouting, representing, coaching or parenting players. It goes out to about 5,000 people across the industry every week, and it comes out later today. You can register for it here.