Andrew Luck seems to be disgruntled with the situation in Indianapolis, so much so that their are reports he actually requested a trade. Luck is reported to be in practice, but the timetable or his return could be 3-4 more weeks.
With all that being said, what is the Colts’ best course of action, both long and short term? Let’s look at some options the Colts have for this season and the seasons to come.
Roll With Luck
In the most likely scenario, the Colts would wait for Luck’s injury to pass and reinsert him into the starting lineup. However, a few things need to happen in order for this to be reality. The Colts have the easiest upcoming seven games possible with the Browns, Seahawks, 49ers, Titans, Jaguars, Bengals and the Texans.
The only game where they’re almost certain to lose without Luck would be the Seahawks, but all the other games are possible for the Colts to win. In this scenario, I would say the Colts need at least two wins by week 5 for them to consider using Luck this season. If they can’t manage to win any of the games before Luck returns, assuming it’s the 3-4 weeks that was reported, then would it be worth risking another injury?
I could actually see the Colts going 3-1 in the next four games, which would put them in a prime position to challenge for the dreadfully sad AFC South. They managed to play decent against the Cardinals in a close OT loss. Look for Jacoby Brissett to improve in the games to come.
If the Colts have a rough couple of games and lose two out of three against the Browns, 49ers and Titans, the front office will have some tough decisions to make regarding Luck and the future of the franchise.
In this extremely possible scenario, what would be the point of starting Luck after a 1-5 or even 0-6 start? Yes, Luck would win a couple of games, but it wouldn’t be enough to make the playoffs, and it would be just enough to not get one of the best draft picks.
By trading Luck, the Colts will be able to obtain a first-round pick or even a package of picks. The Colts would continue to lose this season for a high first rounder at the end of the year. If this were to happen, there is a real chance the Colts could end up with two top five picks in the same year and begin to rebuild.
It is true that they may not get exactly what they would except in terms of trade value because of Luck’s inability to stay on the field, but he has proven to be a competent quarterback when healthy. The Jaguars are a team I could see making a push for Luck. He’d definitely be an upgrade from Blake Bortles.
The Colts traded for Jacoby Brissett, who showed promise in the first half against the Cardinals in a game they would eventually lose in overtime. If the Colts end up moving on from Luck, they will have to see what Brissett has or inevitably tank and regroup. They can either draft a real quarterback, or if Brissett proves himself, then begin to build around him.
Brissett finished the game with 216 yards and one interception in his first start for a team he’s been around for about two weeks. He also drove the ball down the field and helped the Colts to a 10-0 lead in the first.
The Colts struggled to find any offense in the second half and allowed Carson Palmer to get it going late in the game and win it in overtime. The Colts were blowing it in all aspects of the game late in the fourth and especially in the play calling.
Overall, the NFL is a business and there is lucrative sides to each face of this coin. For the Colts, keeping Luck would keep you slightly competitive this year, even though the defense looks pathetic at times. There is also a possible playoff birth. From this point of view, you would keep your fans happy this year and at least fill up Lucas Oil Stadium.
Trading Luck may be the best option the Colts have. With Luck’s value declining with every missed game, the best time to trade him may have already passed, but better to get something rather than nothing.
The season wouldn’t be all lost. I for one love Jacoby Brissett and would love to see him finish out the year and see what he’s really made of.
If I was the general manager and the Colts go 0-6 or 1-5, then I would ship him off to the highest bidder, start Brissett for the year and tank. Take the picks and hope you hit a home run in this year’s draft and build for the future. Luck already wants to be traded. There is nothing worse than being forced to stay somewhere so tensions will only rise.
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