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Colts’ No. 1 pick will be all Luck

By Associated Press / April 20, 2012
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The secret is out.

Andrew Luck will be the Indianapolis Colts’ new quarterback and Peyton Manning’s successor.

The Colts notified Luck they plan to take the Stanford quarterback with the No. 1 pick in next week’s NFL draft, barring some unforeseen event, a person with direct knowledge of the situation said Thursday.

It’s hardly a surprise the Colts are turning to Luck as the cornerstone of their massive rebuilding project. Luck was projected as the No. 1 pick in the 2011 draft before returning to school for his fourth season. He gave up his final year of college eligibility to enter this year’s draft, which was dubbed the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes.

Contract negotiations are not expected to begin before the draft, the source said. Will Wilson, Luck’s agent, did not immediately respond to phone messages or text messages Thursday.

“We’ve exhausted the process,’’ new Indy general manager Ryan Grigson said Wednesday. “We’ve pretty much made up our minds and we’re going to go from there. We feel good about it and we’ll go from there.’’

Grigson acknowledged that the Colts made their decision “a little while’’ ago, though he declined to say whether the Colts would take Luck or Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III of Baylor.

“Barring any unforeseen problem we’re pretty sure what direction we want to go. Barring any unforeseen event, we know what we’re doing,’’ Grigson said.

Vikings get backing

Governor Mark Dayton said that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Steelers owner Art Rooney will to meet with Minnesota lawmakers and urge progress on the struggling effort to build a stadium for the Vikings. Dayton said he’d convene a Friday meeting in his office with Goodell, Rooney, and the Legislature’s four caucus leaders. Rooney leads the NFL’s stadium committee.

“If it isn’t passed this session, the league itself - beyond the Vikings - the league itself has serious concerns about the viability of the franchise here and the future of it here,’’ Dayton said.

A house committee struck down a $975 million stadium bill Monday by a 9-6 vote.

Programming alert

The NFL moved the kickoff for Miami’s Week 2 game against the Raiders from 4:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. because of the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah, the only game being moved Sept. 16 . . . The Ravens signed former Colts quarterback Curtis Painter to a one-year contract. Painter is winless as a starter . . . General manager Ted Thompson said the Packers remain in a wait-and-see mode about the playing future of safety Nick Collins. The 28-year-old Collins sustained a career-threatening neck injury last season and had neck fusion surgery in September . . . The Bears agreed on a one-year contract with linebacker Geno Hayes, who spent his first four seasons with the Buccaneers. He started 13 games last season.

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