The Indianapolis Colts offense took a hit Monday when head coach Frank Reich revealed starting quarterback Carson Wentz will undergo surgery to correct the foot injury he suffered during the first week of training camp.
Now, the rumors and speculations of trading for potentially available veteran quarterbacks has begun even though—as of this writing—there is no substance of a trade going down.
The timeline for Wentz’s return is murky. It’s extremely broad. Reich told the media that Wentz could return as early as five weeks or as late as 12 weeks from the time of the surgery, which is taking place Monday. So depending on how his rehab goes, the 28-year-old could either be ready for Week 1 or not ready at all until just before the second half of the season.
Because of this, rumors and speculations of the Colts potentially trading for players like Nick Foles, Gardner Minshew or Marcus Mariota are taking place.
A fired up Nick Foles talks about Frank Reich, Carson Wentz, what he wants in a trade, and more.
Foles: “The version of me right now is much better than the version that played in the Super Bowl … Put that through your mind.”
This is worth the watch…pic.twitter.com/zVpsluax2l
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) August 2, 2021
But the Colts shouldn’t be considering any of these options. Even if Wentz winds up missing time during the regular season, there shouldn’t be a panic move to acquire a veteran quarterback.
First, there is the timeline for Wentz’s recovery. Even if he does stay out the entirety of the 12 weeks, assuming the rehab goes as planned, he would still be playing in 9-10 regular-season games to end the season.
Which trade would you try to make if your were the Colts?
Gardner Minshew pic.twitter.com/sTXibKWwuN
— PFF (@PFF) August 2, 2021
Giving up future draft capital, which they are already short of in Chris Ballard’s standards, doesn’t make much sense for a seven-game rental.
Second, the options on the market that may be available to the Colts won’t elevate them to a level that will win them a Super Bowl. Even with a healthy Wentz, this roster isn’t ready to make a Super Bowl run. Ballard has said as much this offseason. A competitive playoff team? Sure. But they aren’t in the tier of AFC Super Bowl contenders.
Possibly the biggest reason why the Colts shouldn’t go after a veteran quarterback is due to Jacob Eason. As it stands, the Colts are giving him the keys to be the QB1 if Wentz is to miss time during the regular season.
The Colts used a fourth-round pick on Eason in 2020 but didn’t get to see him work much during that rookie year as he was behind Philip Rivers and Jacoby Brissett.
Now, the Colts finally get a chance to see what Eason can do against NFL competition. Is it going to be pretty? No. In fact, Eason could very much struggle against some of the top defenses the Colts will face early in the season if he plays.
But at least then the Colts know what they have in him and can wait it out until Wentz returns. Will that move cost them games early in the season? Probably. They aren’t likely projected to win much without Wentz in the lineup.
Adding a Minshew, Foles or Jimmy Garoppolo wouldn’t add many wins either. There are reasons they are available for trade. Then, we’re talking about the time it takes to acclimate into the offense. Even for Foles, there would be an adjustment period.
And if the Colts wound up doing that, playing that veteran ahead of Eason, then it raises questions about the point of even selecting Eason in the first place without giving him a shot to prove his worth.
The Colts have a solid roster and will still be a competitive team because of that foundation. But adding a veteran because Wentz might miss time seems like a real panic move when really it would be wiser to hold on to their current assets and see what they have in Eason.
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