Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay expects Andrew Luck to be his old self next season.
If trading the third overall pick or adding two of the best offensive linemen in this year's NFL draft wasn't enough to convince doubters, perhaps the acknowledgment that the Colts turned down trade inquiries for Luck will.
At an impromptu news conference during Saturday's draft, Irsay acknowledged the Colts had been contacted by other teams interested in Luck and the Colts had no interest in dealing the face of the franchise. General manager Chris Ballard later clarified those initial contacts were made during the 2017 season.
"Look, we had some calls last year at the trade deadline and I said, 'We're not taking those seriously,'" Ballard said. "I said, 'I'm not putting that on my resume.'"
Luck, the No. 1 overall pick in 2012, missed all of last season after having surgery for a partially torn labrum in his throwing shoulder.
He's been on the field for Indy's offseason workouts, but still isn't throwing a regulation-sized football.
Earlier this week, Ballard acknowledged the Colts wouldn't have made the March deal with the New York Jets to move back three spots if they didn't believe Luck was healthy.
Irsay went even further Saturday, less than 48 hours after the Colts selected guard Quenton Nelson, the highest-rated offensive lineman in the draft, at sixth overall. On Friday, they drafted another guard, Braden Smith, at No. 37.
"Trust me, there are people who would have given an unprecedented amount of draft picks for him, all with a No. 1 behind them and we wouldn't even consider it," Irsay said. "He (Luck) is our guy and we're confident about that. Let's just say, I think the rest of the league is anticipating him to return and play great."
They need him.
Without Luck, the Colts endured their first losing season since 2011 and missed the playoffs for the third straight year.
But if Luck is healthy, Irsay believes the complexion of the Colts could change.
"Only Andrew can decide how far we are away because he's a magic man and there are only a few magic men and you know who they are," Irsay said. "But if he's healthy and he's back, he makes up for a lot of deficiencies. Can he take you all the way? We'll have to see how good Chris is at plugging the holes on defense and things like that."