With reports surfacing of Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck throwing for the Indianapolis Colts in a private work out; it was only a matter of time before reports of Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III and a Colts work out surfaced. However, in a surprising turn of events, that isn’t going to happen.
Colts owner Jim Irsay tweeted today, “A Luck private workout 2day..we want 2b as thorough n disciplined n process of #1 pick..we wanted 2do private with RG3,but his agent said no.”
The news is very surprising, as the top prospects for an upcoming draft usually do accept private workout requests by teams that have the top picks in the draft. So, for a prospect to decline a private workout is a clear message that they have no intentions on playing for that team.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time a quarterback didn’t want to play for the Colts. In 1983 Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway was selected first overall by the Colts, who were still in Baltimore then, but Elway refused to play for the team and was traded to the Denver Broncos for quarterback Mark Herrmann, rights to offensive lineman Chris Hinton and a first round pick in the 1984 NFL Draft.
There have only been two other incidents of quarterbacks being selected and refusing to play for the team that selected them.
The first is Eli Manning, who in 2004 was selected first overall by the San Diego Chargers. Eli’s father Archie Manning stated publicly that his son didn’t want to play for the Chargers. The Chargers on draft day traded him to the Giants for quarterback Philip Rivers, who was the third overall pick in that draft, and two other draft picks.
The other is Jim Kelly who was also selected in the first round of the 1983 Draft by the Buffalo Bills. Kelly refused to play for the Bills due to their poor attendance and cold weather and went to play in the USFL with the Houston Gamblers. However, unlike the previous two Kelly wound up playing for the Bills as the USFL folded and the Bills still retained his rights.