Luck, Manning may be aligning their strategies for coming year

Quarterbacks by their very nature are master strategists. They’re in the business of lining up Xs and Os so things come out in their favor.

Even after they retire, they retain those skills.

So it should come as no surprise that Peyton Manning and his dad, Archie, and Andrew Luck and his dad, Oliver, all either current or former quarterbacks, would try to orchestrate where Peyton and Andrew play.

Right now, Peyton is on the Indianapolis Colts’ roster. And Andrew is set to be the No. 1 selection in the upcoming NFL draft. The Colts own the rights to that selection—though with two weeks remaining in this season that could change.

Let’s be clear about one thing: This situation isn’t entirely about what’s best for the team. As far as the Mannings and Lucks are concerned, it’s about what’s best for Peyton and Andrew. Archie, for all his affability, has already shown in his dealings with the San Diego Chargers—when they drafted his youngest son, Eli, that it’s not about the team, but rather taking care of family.

What father wouldn’t do that for their son? I suppose that’s to be expected. But I’m not sure anyone expected Archie and Oliver to coordinate the two camps’ plans, though the two were teammates for a short while in their NFL playing days.

So when word broke Tuesday that people close to Andrew Luck—namely Oliver—were talking to Peyton’s agent, Tom Condon, more than a few eyebrows were raised. You can bet two of those sets of eyebrows belong to Colts owner Jim Irsay and Vice Chairman Bill Polian.

So what does this mean? It’s not clear. But it’s safe to say that if Andrew Luck signs with Condon, that he and Manning are likely working from the same script.

Oliver Luck, who has a law degree, surely understands the concept of a conflict of interest, and he understands that Condon’s Creative Artists Agency would be unable to effectively serve Peyton and Andrew if their interests don’t align.

A Luck-Manning two-pronged attack could put the Colts front office in a weakened position to deal with either player.

Colts officials and fans shouldn’t be surprised by a Luck-Manning united front given Archie’s admission earlier this month that he had been talking with Oliver. We can see now that they weren’t reminiscing about old times.

I suppose Luck just might like Creative Artists Agency. After all, CAA does represent several of the NFL’s highest-profile quarterbacks. That makes perfect sense as a way for Luck to score a big contract.

But if you’re a master strategist, you know you have to do more than just hit pay dirt.

You’re trained to score as much as possible. And to leave nothing on the table.

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