Like most people, I was surprised when I heard the news Saturday that Andrew Luck had decided to retire from the NFL a few weeks shy of turning 30 — walking away from almost $60 million he was due to be paid by the Indianapolis Colts over the next three seasons.

Surprised — yes, but shocked? No. Having spent a good deal of time with Luck two seasons ago while researching a book on playing quarterback in the NFL, I knew that Luck isn’t like most athletes. He loved playing the game and played it extremely well. But he doesn’t need to play the game.

In 40 years as a reporter, I can’t begin to count the number of athletes I’ve asked what they plan on doing when their playing days are over. Most of the time the answers are remarkably similar: coach, get a job in TV or radio, or become a scout leading to a job as a general manager.