Rumor: Another NFL Team May Be Caught in a Tampering Scandal
This year, the Miami Dolphins lost their first-round pick in the draft because of a tampering scandal involving both Tom Brady and Sean Payton. The Dolphins pick was slated to be the 21st overall selection. Because Miami was scheduled to pick before the Minnesota Vikings, this allowed them to slide up the draft board from No. 24 to No. 23 where they selected WR Jordan Addison.
Once again in 2023, it appears that we may have another tampering scandal on our hands. According to recent reports, including one by Stephen Holder of ESPN, the Indianapolis Colts have asked the NFL to review possible tampering involving former QB Andrew Luck. The culprits of this latest potential scandal? Who else but the Washington Commanders.
The Commanders have been in headlines for all the wrong reasons over the past few years, whether it be because of their controversial name before changing to the Commanders (but we also have to mention the always-beloved Football Team era), or their owner Dan Snyder being involved in a number of allegations.
It appears that Snyder may officially be releasing the Commanders from his grasp after agreeing in principle to sell his stake of the team to Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils co-owner, Josh Harris. But, with this latest accusation, he apparently won’t be going down without one more scandal to his name.
The request from the Colts comes because a Commanders source told John Keim of ESPN that Washington had ‘phoned’ about Luck being their quarterback last season. However, according to Keim, the reports quickly fizzled because the assumption was that he would remain retired. It also doesn’t appear that the Commanders contacted Luck directly, but that doesn’t exclude them from any tampering allegations in this case.
When the news got to Colts owner Jim Irsay, he unleashed a tweet saying, “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.”
Luck, a former first overall pick from the 2012 Draft, was the Colts succession plan after the Peyton Manning era. During the Luck era, the Colts only had a losing record once, and that came in 2017 when the quarterback missed the entire season due to a shoulder injury.
Following a 2018 campaign where Luck was named the Comeback Player of the Year by playing all 16 games, leading the Colts to an 11-5 record, and passing for 4593 yards and 39 TDs, the franchise QB shockingly decided to retire during the 2019 preseason at the age of 29, citing his multiple injuries as a main reason for this decision.
However, Luck was in the middle of a contract with the Colts after this retirement, and as explained by Holder in another ESPN report, the contract tolled when Luck decided to step away from football.
Because of this, Indianapolis would still hold his rights if he ever decided to return to football, even though we are multiple years past 2021 when the contract was scheduled to end. However, Luck has been adamant that he is not interested in returning to the NFL. Last fall, he even enrolled back at Stanford in pursuit of finishing his degree.
Similarly to the Dolphins situation, this tampering scandal could indirectly impact the Vikings as well. The NFL takes these tampering allegations very seriously as we saw with Miami losing that 2023 first-round pick as well as a 2024 third-rounder.
Currently, the Commanders look like they are going to be hovering near the bottom of the standings once again in 2023, so assuming the Vikings finish with a better record than them, this could result in another opportunity to slide a spot up the draft board.
As of now, there is no impending decision coming regarding the NFL’s review of this latest tampering case.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.