1 Reason Andrew Luck Going to the XFL Might Make Sense

Andrew Luck sent shockwaves through the NFL — and changed the complexion of the AFC South — when he announced two weeks before the start of the regular season that he was retiring from the league.

The injuries Luck has sustained in his career led him to decide to call it a career at a time when he may have still been in the prime of his career.

There is speculation that Luck may not be done with football for good. There are even rumors that he may eventually play in the XFL after it launches in February. Here’s one reason why people are linking Luck to the XFL.

Andrew Luck’s injury history

Andre Luck was the first pick in the 2012 NFL draft, and he put up good numbers in his first three seasons in the league, including a career-high 40 touchdowns in 2014.

In 2015, he missed the first games of his professional career. A shoulder injury kept him out of action in Weeks 4 and 5, while a lacerated kidney and partially torn abdominal muscle caused his season to end after Week 9.

He returned to action in 2016, playing in 15 games, but Luck then missed the entire 2017 season with a shoulder injury. He won the Comeback Player of the Year Award after throwing for more than 4,500 yards and 39 touchdowns in 2018.

Connection to the XFL

With his injury history, it is unlikely that Andrew Luck would risk further injuries, which could jeopardize his quality of life for decades to come, to play in the XFL.

So then why is he being linked to the reboot of the Vince McMahon-led league that has already failed once? It’s simple, and it all comes down to Luck’s family. His father, Oliver Luck, is the CEO and commissioner of the startup league.

The XFL announced in June 2018 that the former NFL quarterback would step down from his role as the NCAA’s executive vice president of regulatory affairs to lead the new league’s football operations. At the time of his hiring, Luck told the Associated Press that he “believe[s] the key ingredients to a successful launch are there to deliver great football, which I think was one of the failings of the original league.”

Why is Andrew Luck unlikely to play in the XFL?

While playing in the XFL would likely help his father’s league get increased interest, don’t expect Andrew Luck to do it. Even putting his injury concerns aside, if Luck was to return to a football field it would make sense for it to be for an NFL team, not an XFL club, simply because of the difference in salary.

Luck had two years remaining on a five-year contract he signed with the Colts prior to the 2016 season that had an average annual value of almost $25 million. In total, Colts owner Jim Irsay estimates Luck may be walking away from $500 million.

It is expected that the highest-paid players in the XFL will earn between $250,000 and $600,000, with payouts for players in the lowest salary tier expected to be in the $50,000-$70,000 range.

Contrast that to the NFL, where the minimum salary in 2019 will be $495,000 for a rookie and could exceed $1 million for a player who has been in the league for at least 10 years.

What kind of players can we expect to see in the XFL?

Much like the short-lived AAF, XFL rosters are likely to be filled with NFL retreads and former college players who weren’t good enough to succeed in the NFL. The league has announced one player signing to date, and it is longtime Steelers backup QB Landry Jones.

The Oklahoma alum has a 3-2 record in five career NFL starts, and in 19 games overall he completed 108 of 169 passes for 1,310 yards and eight touchdowns, with seven interceptions. And there’s always the possibility of Johnny Manziel joining the XFL.