Prior to Sunday’s Week 16 matchup versus the Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts’ owner Jim Irsay spoke with NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport about the team’s current QB-situation.
“Going into the off-season, we have to proceed as if Andrew Luck is officially retired,” Irsay told Rapoport.
As of Sunday, December 22nd, the Colts project to have the 16th overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.
This can be interpreted two ways: one, which relies more on the use of logic, Luck’s constant string of injuries have rendered him from ever gracing the gridiron again; two, the lack of trust in Luck’s successor, Jacoby Brissett, could serve as reasoning for Irsay’s comments.
Brissett assumed starting duties following Luck’s abrupt retirement due to recurring injuries and was immediately rewarded with a 2-year/$30 million extension, signaling the keys to the Colts’ quarterback car were his.
In the Colts’ first game since Irsay’s comments, the aforementioned matchup against Carolina, Indianapolis would cruise to a 38-6 victory, improving their record to 7-8, and 7-7 in Brissett’s starts.
Brissett, while nothing to write home about on the passing front, finishing 14-27 with 119 yards, managed to find himself in the end zone thanks to his legs, scoring via a rushing touchdown in the game’s first quarter. The former New England Patriot would finish the day with 37 rushing yards spread over 3 carries.
For a first-year starter, Brissett has done more than enough to earn another looking heading into 2020, throwing for 2,780 yards, and an 18-6 TD-INT ratio (3-1), while also adding 4 rushing touchdowns and 211 yards via the ground game.
Looking ahead to free agency, the Colts will be presented with a multitude of options of how they wish to address their current QB-situation.
Longtime Cincinnati Bengals’ QB Andy Dalton is set to enter free agency for the first time in his career, as he presents Indianapolis with a viable option to explore.
The man they refer to as the Red Riffle has had a rough go of it in 2019, with the Bengals, who secured the first overall pick with Sunday’s 38-35 loss to Miami, going a laughable 1-11 in Dalton’s starts.
2019 has also seen Dalton turn in what many would cite as a career-low. His 58.1% completion-percentage serves as the lowest such mark in his 9-season career. Dalton’s 80.4 quarterback rating, according to NFL.com, is his lowest since 2014, when he posted a QBR of 83.5 and the second-worst mark of his career.
Eli Manning is a name who could draw some speculation as well, with the two-time Super Bowl champion losing his job in week three to fifth overall pick Daniel Jones. The signing of Manning would make for good conversation at the Manning family table, as his old brother, and fellow two-time Super Bowl victor Peyton spent the first fourteen seasons of his career there.
Whether the Colts explore either of these options awaits to be seen, but should a new face be manning (no pun intended) the quarterback position come 2020, the argument can be made that Brissett was done dirty.