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Colts permitted to sign Luck as soon as Friday

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl - Stanford v Oklahoma State

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 02: (L-R) Sam Schwartzstein #64 and Andrew Luck #12 of the Stanford Cardinal walk into the tunnel towards the locker room after they lost 41-38 in overtime against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on January 2, 2012 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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In past years, some first overall picks were signed to contracts before the draft actually began. Last year, due to the lockout, that was impossible.

This year, the presence of a rookie wage scale makes it much easier to get these deals done, since there’s no longer much -- if anything -- to negotiate.

Thus, the Colts could, in theory, sign the first overall pick long before the draft happens. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tells us that the Colts could sign the top pick as of Friday, after a pair of coin flips lock in the draft order.

And so, theoretically, Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning could end up as teammates, after all. The Colts can sign Luck before they cut Manning.

With owner Jim Irsay clearly concerned about the P.R. issues relating to the departure of the team’s franchise quarterback, why not get the next franchise quarterback under contract before sending Peyton packing?