Why Colts Did Not Make Moves at NFL Trade Deadline

The Indianapolis Colts stayed quiet at the trade deadline for a specific reason.

 

 

As expected, the Indianapolis Colts did not make any moves at the NFL’s trade deadline on Tuesday.

 

There had been rumblings on a few players the Colts could be interested in, as well as rumors some Colts might be heading elsewhere. But in the end, the Colts stuck with the roster they currently have in place.

 

General manager Chris Ballard’s decision to not make any moves already has some fans calling for his job. You cannot fault fans for wanting moves to be made to better their favorite team. It is what makes them fans.

 

 

However, fans also have to recognize the position this Colts team is currently in. When taking the emotion out of it, you realize why the Colts were not aggressive at the deadline.

 

For starters, you must look at where things currently stand for the Colts. Indy is 3-5, sitting in last place in the AFC South, and is in the midst of a three-game losing streak. They will also be without starting quarterback Anthony Richardson for the rest of the season after the rookie underwent season-ending surgery on the sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder last week.

 

 

 

 

While the season had promise when Richardson was available, the Colts have come back down to earth. It is more likely that this team will finish outside the playoff picture at this point rather than fighting for a playoff spot.

 

 

Now, when looking at almost all of the other teams that made moves to acquire players in recent days, they are all teams who will likely be in the thick of the playoff hunt or making a run at the Super Bowl. Here is a list of the major trades made before the deadline:

 

 

 

Outside of the Bears and Vikings, all of the teams that acquired players are at the top, or close to the top, of their respective divisions. The moves made were to help their teams make a push for this season. They are in win-now mode.

 

The Colts, on the other hand, are not in win-now mode. This team is in the middle of a soft rebuild. Even if Richardson stayed healthy, it would have been tough for the Colts to make much noise in a loaded AFC.

 

Many of the players listed above are also in the final year of their deals, meaning there is no guarantee they will be with that team long-term. Ballard is not going to give up draft capital for one-year rentals if the team is not ready to compete.

 

However, couldn’t the Colts sign these players to long-term deals? There is always the chance that happens, but the Colts already have core players in the last year of their deals that they would like to keep. Michael Pittman Jr., Grover Stewart, and Kenny Moore II are just three of the players in the final year of their deals that Indy will likely want to sign to extensions. When factoring in those three, the money goes fairly quickly.

 

 

 

 

The game plan for the Colts was never about the 2023 season. Ballard and the Colts’ front office made that clear with how they attacked the 2023 offseason. The Colts have used this season to play their young guys to see who factors into the future with Richardson and head coach Shane Steichen. The organization has been looking toward 2024, 2025, and beyond.

 

So, if you have not already, it is time to readjust your expectations as a Colts fan. Use the rest of the 2023 season to watch the young players develop and improve. Be excited about the ascending players already on this roster. Richardson, Josh Downs, Bernhard Raimann, Drew Ogletree, Kwity Paye, and JuJu Brents are a few of the names who have shown incredible promise this season.

 

And most of all, hope for competitive games the rest of the way. Better days are ahead for this team, and the Colts may make a move down the line that gets them over the top. It just won’t be this year.

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