While the chances of Luck going to Carolina are great (if he came out) the best chance we had at getting him just left the building. Trading from 3 to 1 would have been costly but worth the sacrifice in picks to get Luck.
Next year (assuming that the NFL plays in 2011) I doubt we will be as bad as this year. WIth 4 wins this season and 3 that could have gone either way it's not unrealistic to say we could be .500 in 2011. Trading from 16 to 1 will be way more costly, probably to the point where it won't happen.
In addition there will be new bottom feeders to deal with. At least with Carolina there was hope that they will stick with Clausen to see if he improves. If someone like Arizona or San Francisco (teams that have no QB of the now, nor of the future on their roster) drops they will certainly not trade it.
Yes, this ends the Luck discussions, but the chance of us getting the QB with the highest expectations since Manning (the first and good one) just ended too.