Andrew Luck's shocking decision to retire from the NFL at age 29 may have been more strategic than initially thought, if a purely speculative rumor is to be believed.
The now-former Indianapolis Colts quarterback might have a nepotism-related reason to join the recently rebooted XFL. Writing for NBC Sports' Pro Football Talk, Mike Florio notes that the Commissioner of the XFL is the four-time Pro Bowler's dad, Oliver Luck.
The man himself made no indication that he intends on signing with the Vince McMahon-owned organization during an impromptu press conference held after the Colts' preseason loss to the Chicago Bears on Saturday.
"I've been stuck in this process. I haven't been able to live the life I want to live - taking the joy out of this game," Luck said per NPR.
"And after 2016, where I played in pain and was unable to regularly practice, I made a vow to myself that I would not go down that path again."
If Luck did decide to throw for one of the XFL's eight teams, he'd have to jump through some hoops to do so. For as long as the Colts retain Luck's rights, the franchise can easily go to court and block him from playing for the XFL, Florio added.
Then there's the question of money. Luck has earned more than $97 million on the field during his seven-year career, according to Spotrac by way of Fox news. He had three years left of his $140 million contract, which he signed in June of 2016.
NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reports that by retiring from the league, Luck is in-effect walking away from $500 million.
“#Colts owner Jim Irsay notes Andrew Luck is giving up almost $500 million by walking away from the NFL. With QB salaries already at $35 million per year, Luck would’ve pushed $40 million APY soon,” Garafolo tweeted.
Luck would likely have to be offered at least that much, if not more, to even entertain the idea of playing at a lower level of competition in the XFL.
One thing's for sure: some Colts fans are very angry about losing their team's star QB. Many booed Luck off the field on Saturday after news of his retirement began making the rounds on Twitter.
"I'd be lying if I didn't say I heard the reaction," Luck said of crowd's reaction at the post-game presser per Yahoo Sports. "It hurt, I'll be honest. It hurt."
According to CBS Sports, Colts season ticket holders have called team headquarters to demand refunds.
FS1 analyst Doug Gottlieb also called Luck's early retirement "the most millennial thing ever" and was promptly called out by Fox's lead NFL analyst, Troy Aikman, for his "bullshit" take.
Some have been more supportive, including Tom Brady. The New England Patriots quarterback appeared on the the Greg Hill Show on Monday and complimented Luck's career and skill.
"It is his life. Everyone has the right to choose what they want to do," Brady said according to Boston.com . "He had a great career and he was a great player. Everybody wishes they could be healthy all the time.
"It is a contact sport and he’s certainly had his fair share of injuries, so guys retire at different times. Some at the end of the season, and I have seen a lot of guys retire before the season gets going and this is just one of those examples.”
Here's how others reacted to the news of Luck's retirement on Twitter.