"I hope he becomes president of the United States. To play football and everything that's involved in playing this game, you've got to have your mind and heart not only committed to completely buying into, completely doing it, but you've got to almost be overcommitted to doing it because you get so many no's. You get so many no's. Everybody does that plays this game. No's are everywhere.
"So to step back away from this thing, I honor him. I think a lot of his family, I think a lot of his father, I think a lot of what he's brought to football and wish him nothing but the very best."
Jones wasn't the only person around the NFL world to speak highly of Luck and support his decision:
"I mean, hell of a player," Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott noted. "Hell of a player and hell of a guy the little bit I know of him. Being able to talk to him a little bit before a game and share little things. Respect him so, so much on the field, off the field. It's his decision. Everyone's entitled to that. I don't think it's fair for any of us to make any opinions on what he has going on."
Luck, 29, cited the consistent rehabilitation from injuries and the toll they took on him mentally and physically as the primary factor in his decision, saying that the recovery process had stolen the joy of playing the game.
The 2012 No. 1 pick out of Stanford retires as a four-time Pro Bowler whose best football appeared to be ahead of him. After missing the entire 2017 season with a shoulder injury and nine games in 2015 with a lacerated kidney and rib injuries, he threw for 4,593 yards and 39 touchdowns in 2018, leading the Colts back to the postseason.
Had Patrick Mahomes not posted historically great numbers, Luck would have been a legit MVP candidate. But the injury bug bit again this year, with a calf injury that had kept him out of action this preseason.
"I'm in pain; I'm still in pain," he told reporters. "It's been four years of this pain/rehab cycle. It's a myriad of issues—calf strain, posterior ankle impingement, high ankle sprain. Part of my journey going forward will be figuring out how to feel better."