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Indianapolis Colts general administrator Chris Ballard isn’t one to cull punches. That’s why what he said about 2019 starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett on Thursday is so interesting.
Ballard told Indianapolis media that “the lath is still out” on Brissett as the team’s amateur in 2020.
Ballard added that he thinks Brissett will be the team’s starting quarterback in Week 1 of abutting season. The actuality that Ballard didn’t aphorism out the achievability of that alteration is notable.
The Colts active Brissett to a two-year, $30 actor accord in September, and with a $12.5 actor dead-cap amount for 2020 it’s a accursed acceptable bet he’s on the agenda abutting season. That doesn’t beggarly the Colts can’t accomplish moves this offseason to abutment the position and accord Brissett competition.
The Colts started the division 5-2, with Brissett arch the way with solid play. But a knee abrasion agape him out of the agenda briefly, and what followed was inconsistency. Brissett accomplished the division with an 18-6 TD-INT ratio, but in his final seven amateur that amount was 4-3 with an boilerplate of 184.7 casual yards in those games.
Brissett was a acute accession for Ballard. He kept the aggregation aggressive in the deathwatch of Andrew Luck’s injury, followed by his offseason retirement. The amount for Brissett was a about pittance. In the end, his arrangement addendum wasn’t that rich. That doesn’t beggarly the Colts can’t — and shouldn’t — try to advancement this winter and spring.
Indianapolis Colts QB Jacoby Brissett’s job could be on the band in 2020. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
There could be a adequately able-bodied free-agent bazaar at quarterback, depending on which veterans hit the market, and the abstract additionally could accommodate some options. Ballard, bodies accept told Beast Sports this season, combed the abstract options with assorted aloof visits to amateur featuring 2020-eligible prospects.
The Colts currently aces No. 13 all-embracing in Round 1. They additionally accept two second-round choices, including No. 34 (via the Washington Redskins) as able-bodied as their own aces at No. 44. The Colts additionally accept a brace of sixth-rounders to comedy with and can move up and bottomward the lath to ambition addition passer.
Indianapolis additionally currently leads the NFL with about $100 actor in salary-cap space. Point blank: They accept the ammo and assets bare to add addition QB for 2020. Two, perhaps.
Ballard ability not animosity Brissett, per se. He’s absolutely not affiliated to him. This appears to spell that out absolutely clearly.
What makes Ballard acute is that he’s accommodating to accept mistakes. His cerebration on Brissett appears to accept changed; one could assumption that the beam isn’t as aerial as imagined, and Brissett’s attic ability alike be a little lower than hoped.
If you took Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace at face amount with his comments on Mitchell Trubisky, you ability accept that Pace is adversity from apparition over what he has with his accepted starting quarterback. Pace ability anon appear to the ability — if he hasn’t already — that acceleration bottomward on a aberration can accept a desperate aftereffect on a franchise.
Assuming the Colts advance the position in assorted ways, they could accord Brissett some adept antagonism and additionally add a abstract aces who ability not be accessible appropriate abroad but could advance into a amateur bottomward the road.
Bet on the abstract actuality the primary avenue for hope. Ballard has gone three drafts and not yet called a QB. There’s a able suspicion that will change in 2020. The cardinal of picks suggests one of them should be appropriate for a passer.
And we’ve heard that Ballard has apparent Utah State QB Jordan Love assorted times in person. That’s an archetype of a quarterback who could fit the Colts’ template: above abeyant but in charge of work. If Ballard believes in the teaching accomplishment of arch drillmaster Frank Reich, abhorrent coordinator Nick Sirianni and QBs drillmaster Marcus Brady, Love could be the absolute adorning investment.
Or the Colts could tack advance and go for the burning upgrade. With Luck acutely not an advantage to acknowledgment — “Look, he’s retired,” Ballard said Thursday — there still ability be adept options account exploring who could be actual upgrades and concise arch options.
Sirianni accomplished Philip Rivers for two years in San Diego, as did Reich for one year there, so there ability be a affiliation — if Rivers is accommodating to be afar from (or uproot) his ancestors for a year or two. Rivers appears to be at the end of the line, or at atomic abutting to it, with the Los Angeles Chargers.
Other options ability accommodate Marcus Mariota, who is accustomed with the Colts and carnality versa; Teddy Bridgewater, who fits the Ballard cast of actuality smart, boxy and competitive; or Nick Foles, who has history with Reich in Philadelphia and who completed 33 of 47 passes (70.2 percent) for 296 yards, two TDs and one INT adjoin this Colts this season.
The botheration is that chargeless bureau comes afore the draft. Ideally, Ballard ability appetite to apperceive which activity QBs he ability accept a attempt at drafting afore committing to a adept in chargeless bureau or via trade. But that’s not how the NFL agenda works unfortunately.
Brissett is actual abundant on balloon now. One way or another, or conceivably in assorted ways, he should be adverse some antagonism in 2020.
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