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Luck says he didn't stay at Stanford to avoid Panthers

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Did Andrew Luck stay in college an extra year to avoid playing for the Carolina Panthers, who had the first pick in the 2011 NFL Draft?

"Absolutely not," Luck said of the Colts' Monday night opponent, via ESPN.com. "And I hope people don't think that."

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Luck opted to finish his degree, and like Sam Bradford at Oklahoma, he decided to wait a year after his immediate eligibility despite being the resounding No. 1 choice in the draft.

While this makes for good fodder -- what if RGIII was on the Colts, Bradford on the Lions, Matt Stafford on the Rams, Cam Newton on the Broncos -- woah, by the way -- it's entirely senseless to wonder what could have been.

In many cases, like when Peyton Manning opted to avoid the Jets and settle in with the Bill Polian-led Colts, there can at least be an argument made as to why it happened. Luck, though, ended up with a first-time general manager in Indianapolis anyway and could probably deduce with relative certainty that the Browns, Jaguars, Vikings and Washington would all be in play.

It's not like this situation, at the start, was any better than Carolina, which, a few years later, ended up hiring one of the best general managers in football in Dave Gettleman.

So while Panthers fans might be searching for motivation at 6-0, this probably isn't the place to find it. Luck probably would have loved it in Carolina.

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