The Indianapolis Colts are running away with top pick in the 2012 NFL draft. The winless Colts are two games “ahead” of the competition. What's more, those two-win teams have selected a quarterback in the first round in one of the last two drafts.
So, the Colts have some tough decisions. Do they take Andrew Luck and create the next Aaron Rodgers-Brett Favre scenario? Do they trade down for a king’s ransom and make one last run with Peyton Manning?
For some, the solution seems obvious. The Colts have to take Luck. For those with that perspective, I implore you to consider Cam Newton’s contract.
As the top overall pick, Newton is guaranteed 22 million dollars over four years, in addition to a 14.5 million-dollar signing bonus. Luck's deal will be similar. Meanwhile, Manning signed a 90 million-dollar contract in the offseason, which means the Colts will have to pay over 126 million dollars for two players at the same position.
The safe move is to take Luck. In doing so, they may be assuring themselves of a decade’s worth of playoff appearances, but no Super Bowls.
I would like to see the Colts go-for-broke with Manning, one more time. They could trade down and take either Trent Richardson or the best defensive player available and fill the rest of the holes in the roster with the extra picks.
However, there is still one more scenario in which the Colts could take Luck, trade Manning before next season and use the extra 60 million dollars or so to plug the gaps and bring in some additional star power.
Regardless, Bill Polian has a lot to think about.