Andrew Luck-Colts reunion? Pat McAfee weighs in on alleged private texts

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The quarterback position for the Indianapolis Colts has been quite the carousel over the last few years.

Andrew Luck. Jacoby Brissett. Philip Rivers.

The recent announcement of Rivers retirement and Brissett hitting free agency for 2021 leaves rookie Jacob Eason as the lone returning Colts quarterback with a contract.

The Colts didn’t have the package that the Los Angeles Rams could offer to pull Matt Stafford out of Detroit. But that was obvious based on the Lions' return.

Tuesday night, alleged texts popped up on Twitter that discussed Luck’s return. Let’s be clear, Colts owner Jim Irsay has twice recently said Luck is not coming back, the first to Michael Silver on nfl.com in December then again last week during a media availability.

Thursday morning, “The Pat McAfee Show” took aim at these alleged private text messages.

McAfee displays screenshots of a tweet sent to 107.5 FM The Fan program director Jeff Rickard by a Mike Austin, whom McAfee states is apparently from Indianapolis.

The tweet has since been deleted.

Doyel:Irsay wants Andrew Luck, but sounds like he’d settle for Matthew Stafford

The tweet provided these alleged texts from a friend of Austin’s wife, who he claims is the best friend of Nicole Pechanec, or in other words, Andrew Luck’s wife.

Two very important moments are revealed in these texts.

First, Luck’s daughter, Lucy, who was born in November of 2019, almost spoke a full sentence.

Second, Luck was supposedly having a meeting with “Jimmy with the Colts” and is missing the game of football.

The assumption is “Jimmy with the Colts” is owner Jim Irsay. The next couple texts that are supposedly from Pechanec and say Luck misses football.

Jim Irsay:Colts owner would love to have Andrew Luck back, but knows ‘he’s retired’

McAfee, tongue in check, had two takeaways:

“As a Colts fan, I’ll tell you what,” McAfee said. “I hope Mike Austin’s wife’s mutual friend is Nicole’s best friend. Congrats on the full sentence, Lucy. Congrats on him potentially getting back into football, all Indianapolis Colts fans. That’s awesome for us.”

The second take was directed at Austin and the people involved with revealing the alleged text messages.

“A massive (expletive) you to Nicole’s best friend that leaked these text messages and Mike Austin, his wife and everybody else. Because this completely is what? Slapping privacy in the face of any person you are basically trying to extort information out of now when you’re supposed to be a best friend.”

Discretion is advised due to language, but the McAfee clip can be viewed here.

Chris Sims is a digital sports producer at Midwest DOT. Follow him on Twitter: @ChrisFSims.

A random tweet sparked Andrew Luck comeback rumors — and Pat McAfee’s scorn

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Retired Colts punter-turned-sports media personality Pat McAfee is skeptical of the Andrew Luck comeback rumors, and broke down in great detail why he thinks the story is bogus.

The story began with a since-deleted tweet from someone named Mike Austin (@kareemjumpman), who claims his wife knows someone who is close with the Luck family.

“@RicardonSports my wife has a mutual friend with Nicole’s best friend which is the wife of Andrew. I think this answers a lot of our questions. This was Sunday or yesterday, I’m not sure,” Austin wrote.

The tweet came with a screenshot which Austin claims is a text exchange between his wife’s friend and “Nicole P,” or Nicole Luck (née: Pechanec) that implies Luck may be coming out of retirement. The thread starts with Nicole revealing that the Luck’s 1-year-old daughter Lucy just spoke a full sentence.

“Okay, massive moment, right? Your baby just spoke a sentence,” McAfee said on “The Pat McAfee Show” on Wednesday. “This is how tight Mike Austin’s wife’s mutual friend is with Nicole, okay? Very tight.”

Nicole then invites her friend to go shopping at Sak’s while Andrew has “a meeting with Jim around noon-ish.”

Luck, 31, retired two weeks before the start of the 2019 NFL season after injuries marred his final years in the league. He finished with a 60.8 completion percentage for 23,671 yards, 171 touchdowns and 83 interceptions through six regular seasons and is a four-time Pro Bowler. The 33-year-old McAfee played with Luck from 2012 to 2016.

McAfee then begins to pick apart the story’s incongruities in great detail, as though he were analyzing tape.

“Nicole’s best friend got a text message from Nicole just using the word, ‘Jim,’ and then her best friend didn’t know which Jim she was referring to?” McAfee questioned. “Is that really a best friend that you’d be telling that your baby just said a full sentence to? Questions. I have questions. But allegedly, this is from Nicole.”

Nicole clarifies the “Jimmy” she’s referring to is, “Jimmy with the Colts,” or presumably owner Jim Irsay.

“Jimmy with the Colts! Jim Irsay,” McAfee mocked, while his crew laughed. “Jimmy with the Colts, Jimmy horseshoe. Jimmy, the guy who gave us $25 million. Jimmy!”

The exchange continues with Nicole revealing that the retired signal-caller misses football, which her friend also claims, “we told him he would.”

“So this person told Andrew Luck he would miss football and doesn’t know who Jim is when Andrew Luck’s wife texted Jim?” McAfee said. “Alright, okay.”

Former Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee and quarterback Andrew Luck Getty Images

“Misses is an understatement,” Nicole wrote. “If he does play again, this is the first step. We all hate when he’s gone for a day or two at a time but he’ll be so much happier. We all know he misses it more then anything (sic).”

After Luck’s shocking retirement, the Colts were left with backup Jacoby Brissett to play quarterback in 2019. During the offseason, they inked longtime Chargers QB Philip Rivers to a one-year deal, who started all 16 games.

Rivers, 39, retired shortly after the Colts’ wild-card round loss, leaving the team’s future at quarterback very uncertain. They will pick 21st in the 2021 NFL Draft, which, barring a trade, would likely put them out of contention for one of the top quarterback prospects and would make the prospect of a Luck return an attractive one.

“I would like to say this: As a Colts fan, I tell you what. I hope Michael Austin’s wife’s mutual friend is Nicole Luck’s best friend. By the way, congrats on the full sentence from Lucy. Congrats on him potentially getting back into football, all Indianapolis Colts fans. That’s awesome for us,” McAfee added. “But a massive f–k you to Nicole’s best friend who leaked these text messages [and] Mike Austin, his wife, and everybody else, because this is completely slapping privacy in the face of any person you’re trying to basically extort information out of now when you’re supposed to be a best friend.”

Colts running back Nyheim Hines added his two cents into the Luck discussion on Tuesday on PFT PM with Charean William, who asked him if he sees a return in the cards for his former teammate.

“Absolutely not,” Hines said resolutely. “I don’t see it at all.

“I trust in [general manager] Chris Ballard and Jim Irsay and everybody on our staff to make the right choice for our team. They’ve been doing a great job and we’ve put a pretty good squad together over the past three years with coach Frank Reich. I think whoever they bring in, they’re gonna be great for our organization.”

Odds Andrew Luck Unretires and Returns to Colts for 2021 NFL Season

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Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck shakes hands with Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay after a news conference following the team’s NFL preseason football game against the Chicago Bears, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Indianapolis. The oft-injured star is retiring at age 29. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Unsubstantiated rumors have surfaced that QB Andrew Luck will be coming out of retirement to rejoin the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts

Odds are -1200 that there’s nothing to the rumors and he’ll remain in retirement

Luck retired from football in 2019 at the age of 29

Certainly, there’s an element of luck involved in betting. Whether there’s an element of truth in the rumors that quarterback Andrew Luck is planning to end his two-year retirement from the NFL and rejoin the Indianapolis Colts, well, that’s another matter.

Speculation began surfacing earlier this week that Luck was planning a meeting with Colts owner Jimmy Irsay to discuss a return to football. These unsubstantiated reports were built around texts posted on social media that were allegedly sent by Luck’s wife Nicole.

None of the national NFL media sources are discussing these rumors. In fact, NBC’s Peter King said flat out that he’s heard no such talk.

The odds are reflecting the likelihood that there’s nothing of substance to the talk. The betting line is -1200 that Luck won’t be returning to the football field. It’s +750 that Luck will be coming back to play.

Odds Andrew Luck Returns to Play in NFL

Outcome Odds No -1200 Yes +750

Odds as of Feb. 4

An earlier prop wager on who would be the starting QB for the Colts in the 2021 NFL season was listing Luck as a +6600 longshot.

Colts Would Be Luck-y to Get Him Back

Citing a lengthy history of injuries, Luck retired just prior to the opening kickoff of the 2019 NFL season. It’s entirely understandable why the Colts would welcome him back with open arms, though.

As Indy’s QB, Luck led them to four playoff appearances, a trip to the AFC Championship Game, and a 53-33 record. For his career, Luck’s completion percentage was 60.8. He passed for 23,671 yards, threw for 71 touchdowns, and ran for 14 more.

If Andrew Luck returned next season to start for the Colts, would they be the favorites to win the Super Bowl? pic.twitter.com/VMoSA1kbMG — FanDuel (@FanDuel) February 3, 2021

Passing for 4,593 yards and 39 TDs in his farewell NFL campaign, Luck was named 2018 NFL Comeback Player of the Year. Four times, the season concluded with his selection to the Pro Bowl.

Equipped with a sterling defense, elite offensive line, and deep at the skill positions, Indy is a frontline QB away from being a Super Bowl contender. As long as Patrick Mahomes is still in Kansas City, the Chiefs will remain the team to beat. But the Colts with Luck would be right there in the Super Bowl odds, nipping at KC’s heels.

What Does Jimmy From the Colts Say?

According to the leaked texts from Luck’s wife – which neither she or him are confirming as accurate – Luck was to meet Thursday with Colts owner Jimmy Irsay. Or, as the alleged texts are calling him, “Jimmy from the Colts.”

If this meeting is indeed a reality, it appears to be news to Irsay.

Irsay on Andrew Luck. Essentially, the door’s always open, but.

‘It stands where it stands. Andrew’s retired. He knows we would love to have him back, but only he could ever answer that question." pic.twitter.com/kSH2lvMFEE — Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) January 27, 2021

While admitting that the door is always open for Luck’s return to Indianapolis, Irsay told local media that Luck isn’t providing any indication that he’ll be walking through that door anytime soon.

“Andrew’s retired,” Irsay told FOX59/CBS4 Sports. “He knows we would love to have him back, but only he could ever answer that question.”

Players Doubting the Speculation

Colts linebacker Darius Leonard and running back Nyheim Hines both threw cold water on the speculation of Luck rising up and returning to lead them to glory.

Andrew Luck’s former Colts teammate Darius Leonard discusses the possibility of the quarterback returning to the NFL. #usatodayRadioRowSB55 pic.twitter.com/kcO1WNfpMW — USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) February 3, 2021

“People gotta understand that once your body says you gotta shut down, it’s over with,” Leonard told USA Today.

Speaking with Pro Football Focus, Hines echoed those sentiments regarding whether there was any hope of a Luck comeback.

“Absolutely not,” Hines said. “I don’t see it at all.”

Another who is completely doubting there being any merit to the rumors is former Colts head coach Tony Dungy. Now an NFL analyst with NBC, Dungy went through similar episodes of speculation that he’d return to coaching every time there’d be an NFL opening.

“I think this will be something that’s talked about forever,” Dungy told the Pat McAfee Show.

“I love crazy, outlandish, zany rumors. And there is a crazy, outlandish, zany rumor right now that is out there about Andrew Luck and his supposed interest in the Colts job of quarterback going forward.” –@ClayTravis pic.twitter.com/tSkhtrqoDC — OutKick (@Outkick) February 4, 2021

As luck would have it, in this case, there’s more smoke and mirrors to these rumors than substance and reality.

Colts fans can dream and hope all they want. The fact of the matter is that Luck isn’t coming back.

Pick: No (-1200)