Rumor: If No Carson Wentz, Colts Could Pursue Sam Darnold or Look to Trade Up in the NFL Draft for QB – Stampede Blue
According to The MMQB’s Albert Breer on 97.5 The Fanatic’s ‘The Anthony Gargano Show’, if the Indianapolis Colts do not ultimately land Carson Wentz in a deal, the franchise still has other options this offseason—including potentially trading for the New York Jets’ Sam Darnold or for a top quarterback prospect in this April’s upcoming NFL Draft:
“I don’t know the exact offer that the Colts have made is, but I can tell you that they’re going to be disciplined,” Breer said during the radio show on Wednesday. “And this isn’t the only quarterback solution that they’re looking at. I think they’ve got the flexibility now with where their roster is to potentially trade up in the draft in April to go up and get one. I think there’s a pretty decent chance that Sam Darnold is going to be available in three or four weeks—or sooner. So that would be another option out there for them.”
“So, I don’t think the Colts are going into this, looking at it saying, ‘If we don’t get Carson Wentz, we’re up a creek.’ And remember this too, they know the good and bad of Carson Wentz. Yes, (Colts head coach) Frank Reich was close with Carson, when they were together in 2016 and 2017. And yes, (Colts senior offensive assistant) Press Taylor had a good relationship with Carson as well, but also sitting on that (Colts coaching) staff is Mike Groh, the (wide) receivers coach, and I don’t need to tell you guys where that relationship went over the last couple of years. So they are armed with all of the information, it’s not just the good of Carson Wentz, it’s the bad too.”
Of course, none of this is exactly earth-shattering and only reiterates some of Breer’s earlier report of rumblings—with a few additional nuggets of information.
Despite the huge opening, Colts general manager Chris Ballard has already cautioned that he will not act out of desperation for a starting quarterback this offseason:
“There’s a fine line between being aggressive and desperate. We are not going to operate in a desperate world,” Chris Ballard said on 107.5 The Fan’s ‘The Dan Dakich Show’ a few weeks ago. “That’s what the world does. That’s what Twitter does. That’s what people do. They operate in a desperation world. No, we’re not going to operate in that world.”
“We’ll be aggressive when we need to be aggressive.”
The Colts still have remaining starting quarterback options outside of Wentz—even if they’re relatively limited this offseason.
This includes: Trading for Darnold, the former 3rd overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, who’s been hindered by a lack of supporting cast and suffered from poor coaching—having largely struggled out of the gates in his early professional career despite intriguing talent.
Or, trading a king’s ransom to get into the Top 5 of the NFL Draft to land the likes of a top quarterback prospect such as Ohio State’s Justin Fields, BYU’s Zach Wilson, or North Dakota State’s Trey Lance.
Neither is a great proposition (and comes with its own risk), but the franchise’s back isn’t necessarily ‘to a wall’ either right now—all things considered.
Clearly, the Colts like Wentz enough to make a reasonable/competitive offer to the Eagles for him, but not in excess of what they feel like his perceived value and reasonable projection actually is at the present time. Ballard has consistently been frugal with his draft picks and typically does not exceed his believed value in a player (let alone, one like Wentz, who clearly isn’t an NFL superstar right now).
The Colts like Wentz enough to pursue him in a trade, but it’s not as though they are overly infatuated with him—where it’s going to be an ‘all-or-nothing’, ‘feast or famine’ mentality.
That reeks of desperation—which simply won’t happen under Ballard’s watch.
Wentz has the chance to be a really good starting NFL quarterback again (especially if reunited with Reich, while getting rid of some acquired bad habits)—but there’s inherent risk in such a significant acquisition because he’s not currently that type of passer as is.
This is a reclamation project of sorts, and everyone knows it.
There’s no sense in paying a premium for what Wentz’s currently not because of what he could potentially be. That’s not how it works.
The Colts know Wentz would prefer Indianapolis.
They also know their limits and are willing to stick to their guns.
Indianapolis knows it still has alternatives—even if Wentz doesn’t ultimately come to the Colts after all.