Colts must consider all options at quarterback for 2020
The Indianapolis Colts are in a weird spot.
On one hand, the Colts are a team trying to build slowly towards a title. Indianapolis general manager Chris Ballard could have gone on a shopping spree last year in free agency but held off. This year, only the Miami Dolphins have more money to place with, as the Colts have $86 million at their disposal. Going for broke is typically a quick way to get into cap hell without much to show for it.
On the other hand, Indy has every reason to be aggressive. The Colts are in a winnable division, and if the quarterback position is upgraded, there’s a realistic shot to make noise in the AFC.
Over the weekend, owner Jim Irsay spoke to the media prior to the NFL Scouting Combine coming to town, and talked about that situation. Per NFL.com:
“I think that Jacoby is on the rise and you got to give him time to develop. People forget that Peyton [Manning], one of the greatest ever — in my opinion the greatest — 3-13 in ’98, 2001 6-10. All of a sudden Jacoby goes 7-9, it’s like the world’s falling apart. We had a lot of injuries, special teams wasn’t outstanding, and the combination of those things and Jacoby being a starter for the first time, that’s a lot to overcome. 7-9 isn’t bad.”
Irsay’s points on Jacoby Brissett are correct. The Colts were 5-2 with wins over the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans before Brissett and other key players got hurt. However, Indianapolis’ rankings were low across the board, suggesting regression was coming.
Barring that in mind, Ballard has to make a choice this offseason. Does he want to stick with Brissett entering the final year of his deal, draft a rookie quarterback with the intent of playing him this year or next, or sign a veteran to replace Brissett now?
Philip Rivers has been heavily linked to the Colts due to his ties with head coach Frank Reich and offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni dating back to their time with the San Diego Chargers. If Ballard doesn’t go that route, though, taking a quarterback early in the draft makes sense. A prospect such as Jacob Eason or Jordan Love could sit behind Brissett for awhile and learn, then eventually take over when deemed ready.
Regardless of the decision Ballard makes, he’ll need to keep all options on the table while the Colts try to ride into contention this year.