With the Colts’ Wild Card loss following a strong regular season, one question mark in terms of personnel the QB position. Phillip Rivers was in charge of quarterbacking the Colts’ offense this year. At age 39, Rivers posted 4200 yards and 24 touchdowns to 11 interceptions. The Colts finished with an 11-5 record, and considering River’s was on a 1-year deal, the Colts could likely move on from the veteran and option to some younger talent to pair with their relatively young offensive unit.
While Rivers had a good year, keeping him around is not a good team decision. Rivers is going to be going on 40 next year and has reached his ceiling as a quarterback. There are rumors that he may retire, which would make the Colts’ decision for them. The Colts should be a great fit for any quarterback considering the young talent they possess in Jonathan Taylor as well as an O-line, who allowed the 2nd least sacks in 2020. The only question is who will be under center in white and blue.
The routes the Colts can take:
After their Wild Card loss to the Bills, the Colts have the 21st pick in the 2021 draft. Considering how stacked this year’s QB class is, the Colts could get a quarterback like Trey Lance from North Dakota State with the 21st pick or use their second-round pick on Florida’s Kyle Trask or Alabama’s Mac Jones. The Colts are in a great spot moving forward, and if they chose to draft a QB, he will have been put in a great position to succeed and develop under Frank Reich.
The other route the Colts could take if they chose to move on from Philip Rivers, is getting a quarterback in Free Agency or through trade. The QBs who highlight free agency include Dak Prescott, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Mitch Trubisky. While none of those names are particularly attractive or eye-opening, paired with arguably the best Oline in the NFL, they could be very successful.
What route should they take?
The route I think suits the Colts better would be getting a QB through trade. Names that have been rumored to be on the trade block include Matt Ryan, Matt Stafford, Sam Darnold, and recently Deshaun Watson. Matt Ryan and Matt Stafford are older, but neither has ever been paired with an Oline like the one the Colts have. Both have proved to be outstanding passers throughout their career and personally would suit better than Phillip River’s did.
Darnold has struggled under poor coaching and talent but is only 23 years old. He has shown flashes of his ability but it would be a high-risk, high-reward situation whereas, with Stafford and Ryan, you know what to expect.
The trade that would reshape the entire Colts’ roster and boost them to an instant contender is Deshaun Watson. With a depleted receiving core, terrible coaching, and a below-average Oline, Watson led the NFL in passing yards and was second in passer rating. While the price for Watson would be high, he is incredibly young and a top-five quarterback in the NFL right now. The Colts do have the cap space to take on Watson’s contract and bring in receiving help, but the Watson rumors are only hear-say right now.
Whoever the Colts decide to bring in, if anyone, will be adopting a great O-line, a young stud running back, and a top-five defense to pair with that. If the Colts can bring in receivers in free agency as well, they will instantly be contenders in the AFC. Expect an exciting offseason from the Colts and a strong 2021 campaign.