Why the Colts can’t be sellers at the trade deadline, even without Anthony Richardson

Why the Colts can’t be sellers at the trade deadline, even without Anthony Richardson

 

INDIANAPOLIS – The wait is over.

Jonathan Taylor signed a three-year, $42 million contract extension with the Indianapolis Colts, keeping him in Indiana through the 2026 season after months of contract disputes. The Colts caved earlier than they would have liked, owner Jim Irsay admitted, but that’s okay considering who Taylor will be paired with: Anthony Richardson.

As a rookie, he showed potential and had some standout role plays that made him look like a franchise cornerstone.
Irsay’s dream was for Richardson and Taylor, who missed the first four games of the year with an ankle injury and were physically unavailable, to finally work together in a bid for an AFC South title and a playoff berth .

But that dream (or at least some version of it) only lasted one game, the Colts’ Week 5 matchup with the Tennessee Titans.
Throw from Richardson to Taylor for a 3-yard gain before Richardson goes down with an AC sprain.
injury.
He needs season-ending surgery.
“We look forward to a full recovery and have no doubt that Anthony has a bright future,” Irsay said in a statement.
“Right now, I like the fight this team has and I’m excited about the opportunity ahead.”

The Colts are 0-2 since Richardson last played and 3-4 just days before the NFL trade deadline. Some might think the Colts’ season is over when Richardson takes his last snap.
So teams need to become sellers at the trade deadline and start stockpiling capital for the future.
However, the organization and reorganization of tables does not occur in a vacuum.
There are several factors to consider, particularly what message general manager Chris Ballard would send if Indianapolis fizzled out.

When the Colts extended Taylor’s contract, it wasn’t just about him.
This was a franchise that had over-performed in the first month of the season, and adding another key piece made them think, “Hey, we’ve got a chance.”

That view may have changed dramatically with veteran Gardner Minshew replacing Richardson and struggling, but now the cost of signing with the Colts could be more than he would receive in a potential trade package.

Regardless of the culture built by first-year coach Shane Steichen or the team’s locker room, Indy’s most attractive trade candidate is defensive tackle DeForest Buckner.
The two-time All-Pro is the Colts’ best linebacker and has been one of the best defensive players in the NFL for some time.
Buckner, 29, has one year and $22.8 million left on his contract after this year and would almost certainly receive at least a first- or second-round pick in a trade.
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But even though Buckner had the chance to leave, he didn’t. He could have requested a trade like star quarterback Stephon Gilmore, who was sent to the Dallas Cowboys over the summer, but Buckner doubled down on his commitment to the franchise.
He’s coming off another strong campaign with six QB hits, four tackles for loss, three sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery (for a touchdown).
Additionally, Buckner is one of the Colts’ team captains and is respected by everyone in the organization.
What exactly is the price of such an effect? And will the Colts get the same compensation?
“Buck is one of the strongest players, probably the strongest player I’ve ever played with,” defensive end Dayo Odeyinbo said.
“He is ready to fight the injury.
He’s been at the highest level for a while, but that’s not his type of match

Other potential trade candidates include cornerback Kenny Moore II, safety Julian Blackmon, defensive tackles Grover Stewart, Zach Moss and even Minshew.
All have played important roles for Indianapolis this season, but all are playing on expiring contracts.
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Stewart was suspended six games for violating the NFL’s PED policy, and given that he won’t be able to play again until Week 14, it’s reasonable to wonder if the team would be willing to trade him.
The other players are all eligible for draft capital money in potential trades, but cutting a talented player could undermine the high standards Steichen has set during his tenure.
Despite their offensive core playing just one game together this season, with Taylor and Richardson coming in and out of the lineup, the Colts are the only team in the league to score at least 20 points per game.
Only one of the four losses was by more than 10 points.

In other words, Steichen was giving the Colts a chance every week.
What would it look like if a team suddenly turned around and took away part of what they were trying to build?

“I think it’s important in this league for the culture and for people to be on the same page and believe what you’re saying,” Steichen said earlier this season.
“But you have to experience it every day.”

Indianapolis has performed well so far, and aside from a corner who can back up a tight end, will likely continue to improve with a humble approach at the trade deadline.

 

Another factor to consider: Regardless of whether the Colts make any moves, their starting three or four pitchers will likely be Marvin Harrison Jr. Since you probably missed the lottery, it doesn’t hurt to pick one more.
.
We won a season where we didn’t even make the playoffs.
If Indianapolis lands in the top 15, there is the possibility of adding a wide receiver like Florida State’s Keon Coleman, Washington’s Rim Odunze or LSU’s Malik Nabers.
Acquiring any of those players next year would be worth far more than the Colts could get at this year’s trade deadline, and Ballard’s promising new coach shouldn’t open the floor to players who do.
Go away I replied to the message.
“We’re going to see everything Shane has put into him,” Minshew said after Steichen earned his first win since Week 2 against the Houston Texans.
“He works hard.
He wants that more than anything.”

 

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