There is no position in football more important than quarterback. They have to play well and lead an entire team to victory. The Indianapolis Colts have had the luxury of having some of the game’s greatest signal callers play for their franchise.
However, Indy has had an issue finding a long-term answer at quarterback for quite some time. They are once again in the market for a quarterback. The Colts need to make sure the next guy under center is their future, not a quick fix.
The Colts haven’t had stability at quarterback in recent years
Quarterback wasn’t a position the Colts had to worry about for quite some time. That is because they had Peyton Manning at the helm from 1998-2011. A neck injury forced him to miss the 2011 season, and then he left the Colts for the Denver Broncos. It seems that ever since Manning left Indy, the Colts haven’t found a stable quarterback.
The Colts did select Andrew Luck with the first overall pick in the 2012 draft. Luck was the franchise quarterback, but a lack of an offensive line and a defense took a toll on him. He was sacked numerous times, suffering a litany of injuries during his career. The injuries became too much for Luck, retiring after six seasons in the league. Ryan Grigson is to blame for the wasted career of Andrew Luck.
The Colts have relied on longtime backup Jacoby Brissett at times to be their quarterback. He started for the team in 2011 and 2019, finishing under .500 in both seasons. He’s a decent backup but hasn’t proven that he can be a long-term answer for Indy at quarterback. Some other quarterbacks have started for the Colts in the post-Manning era, like Matt Hasselback, Curtis Painter, and Scott Tolzein.
In 2020, the Indianapolis Colts had another new starter at quarterback. Philip Rivers joined the team on a one-year contract and led the team to an 11-5 record. They lost against the Bills in the wild-card round, and Rivers retired from the NFL. Brissett is supposed to be a free agent, which means the Indy only has one quarterback on their roster.
The Indianapolis Colts are looking for a quarterback again
With Rivers walking away from the game, the Colts are back on the hunt for a quarterback. The only one they have on their roster is their 2020 fourth-round draft pick, Jacob Eason. The Colts have said positive things about him, but it doesn’t look like he is the answer under center yet. Indy must analyze the market and find another quarterback.
When looking for their next quarterback, Indy must realize one important thing. The roster they have is ready to win. With one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, a two-headed monster at running back, and a top tier defense, The Colts have a team primed for a championship run. This could impact who they look at when finding their next quarterback. They won’t be looking for a project when their team is considered a legit contender.
The free agency class of quarterbacks has some interesting names. Mitchell Trubisky, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Jameis Winston are some of the top names expected to become free agents. It’s early in their search, so there is no word if the Colts are interested in these names. Indy could also trade for a quarterback if they feel nothing is attractive on the free-agent front.
The Colts have had to search for their future QB since Manning left, and it hasn’t been successful. The six years with Luck were nice, but Indy’s failure to surround him with talent ruined that. It’s been a carousel for Indy, and it needs to end when they find their next quarterback.
The Next QB for Indy must be the franchise quarterback
Whoever is the next quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts, they must be their franchise quarterback. It can’t be a stop-gap quarterback; it can’t some kind of quick fix. Indy needs to find the next quarterback that will be the face of their franchise for years to come. Taking this route makes the best sense given where the team is at. With a win-now roster, obtaining a long-term quarterback is essential.
Going this route does cut Indianapolis’ options in their quarterback search. The seasoned veterans like Ryan Fitzpatrick would be out, and betting on Trubisky’s rise as a quarterback wouldn’t be an option. There are some talented young quarterbacks that Indy could trade for. Carson Wentz is the go-to name because of his history with head coach Frank Reich, plus being 28-years old. Matthew Stafford is in his early 30’s and has been an exceptional passer with the Detroit Lions.
Deshaun is a possible but unlikely trade option also. The Colts could use their first-round draft pick on a quarterback. It might require a year or two learning curve, but Indy would have secured their future at QB. Alabama’s Mac Jones would be a perfect fit. He’s shown he can lead an offense and can gradually improve because of the defense and running game.
It has been a quarterback carousel for the Indianapolis Colts, and it must stop. They need to get their franchise QB so he can grow with the rest of the talented roster. They have the cap space, the draft capital, and the player assets. However the Colts go about this, it must end with them having a long-term answer at quarterback.