Trade or Draft? Why the Colts quarterback decision isn’t easy

There was Shane Steichen discontinued on February 14th, the Indianapolis Colts have looked to the future. Questions about the staff, the coaching philosophy and the composition of the team played a major role.

Among the questions the team has pondered is what to do at the quarterback position. If the team has listened to the fans, they will notice a common theme: fear.

The fans are frustrated and getting more restless by the day because, like the leadership, they want more for their beloved franchise.

At the end of the season, General Manager Chris Ballard spoke the quiet parts out loud and whimpered about them organizational failure and have to “do it right”.

But what does “right” look like? Should the team Attempt to trade for a most intriguing veteran in Lamar Jacksonor should they take a gamble in the 2023 NFL draft as multiple prospects are likely to be available if the team picks 4th overall?

The answer is not easy.

Ballard understands that every decision he throws at owner Jim Irsay’s feet is being made through a microscope.

Bringing in another experienced quarterback means the team would likely need to believe that the quarterback can make a huge difference to the team and is worth the cost of acquiring him.

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson presents an intriguing pick.

The quarterback is at a crossroads with the Ravens because of his perceived worth and has requested a trade that appears to make him available for quarterback-needy teams like the Colts. At the very least, the Colts would have to give up two first-round draft picks and present a contract the Ravens are unlikely to honor, which could include guarantees in excess of $130 million.

If the team chooses not to trade for the accomplished veteran, they can turn to the 2023 draft, where they have the opportunity to draft a young franchise quarterback to build around.

Drafting a quarterback means he won’t have Jackson’s proven record, knowledge or skills, but he will have potential and advantages. It is also worth noting that such a choice is much more cost-friendly for the future team.

What will the Colts do?

The answer will remain largely unknown over the next few weeks, but leadership has offered clues as to their thinking and why it will be at least an ongoing process.

On Monday when asked about Lamar Jackson, Ballard said, “Any time you’ve had a chance to win a man in that position, you have to work on it to see if it’s feasible. Sometimes it is, sometimes not.”

Owner Jim Irsay shared that his desire to become younger has existed since the days of Phillip Rivers. He also said that while he’s not ruling out Jackson, cap implications and draft picks decide to pursue those much more challenging ones.

Based on those insights, Ballard and Irsay will do their homework on Jackson, but one thing fans should keep in mind is that Ballard hasn’t yet had the opportunity to draft a quarterback with the intention of that player starting and the franchise around him is built up.

With an owner looking to get younger so their team can compete with the NFL’s heavyweights, Ballard will likely stop at nothing to bring that vision to life.

He recently shared some insightful thoughts to let fans understand where his thoughts are.

“Everybody’s talking about the Top 4, but there’s more guys out there… I think history has shown itself here, especially in the last few years, with Jalen (Hurts) as one and Brock Purdy coming in and playing well; They come at every level. We’re going to do our work on each of them and … we’re going to try to find one that we like and that suits us and we think we can win with that.”

Story originally appeared on Colts Wire

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