Andrew Luck sent shock waves through the sports world on Saturday night, retiring at the young age of 29. As the dust settles, the best option for the Colts may be to go after a quarterback with a familiar last name.
The Indianapolis Colts organization was rocked this past weekend, when news broke of their star quarterback deciding to forgo millions of dollars of potential earnings and retire in his prime; leaving the team in shambles just weeks before the start of the regular season. As GM Chris Ballard continues to digest the situation, he may come to realize that pulling off a trade for Giants quarterback Eli Manning is his best option for the 2019 season.
When Big Blue announced Eli would be the starter for the 2019 campaign, the 15 year veteran must have taken a deep breath, as it seemed the rumors of his exit would finally quell. However, this ‘rumor’ just makes too much sense for both sides to not take a look at it.
Jacoby Brissett has shown himself to be a quality signal caller during his three year NFL career. He already stepped up for an injured Andrew Luck in 2017, in a scenario that was at the time shocking in it’s own right. That should count for something in the Colts’ eyes, as Brissett started 15 games that year, throwing for over 3000 yards with an 81.7 quarterback rating. The team still ended play with a pitiful 4-12 record, though.
That’s just simply not going to cut it for this current Indianapolis Colts team. After a breakout 2018 season that featured a playoff win and a 10-6 record, expectations were sky high coming into 2019. The Colts were a 12-1 favorite to win the Super Bowl, one of the best odds in all of football. After years of dismal offensive line play and a porous defense, the team finally seemed to make the right moves and be in a position to really make noise with a cast worthy of it’s all-world quarterback.
Those odds plummeted all the way down to 60-1 after the Luck news broke, and Ballard would be wise to evaluate every option available to him. One that seems crazy at first, but not so much when you think about it, is acquiring Eli Manning from the Giants. The potential move makes a load of sense for both sides.
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With Daniel Jones lighting up the preseason, talk of starting the rookie has already reached a fever pitch. This could be the last chance the Giants have to ship their Hall of Fame quarterback off into the sunset with some dignity, where he has the chance to play for a legitimate contender one last time. The fact that it happens to be the organization his older brother starred for, and still maintains a great relationship with, cannot be understated.
Eli would get his chance to show that he still does have some gas left in the tank, as his sympathizers have pointed towards the Giants’ league worst offensive line as the main reason for him demise. Throw in T.Y. Hilton, Eric Ebron, Devin Funchess and more, and a case can be made that we just might end up seeing the Eli of old.
Heading into this offseason, you would have been a crazy person to think Eli Manning could extract any kind of value in a trade, particularly with his contract situation. However, the Giants have already paid his signing and roster bonuses for the season, making this only an one year, 11 million dollar investment for the Colts. That ups his trade value tremendously, and it’s not out of the realm of possibilities that Dave Gettleman could ask for a second or third round draft pick in return.
While that may seem like a heavy ask, two-time Super Bowl MVPs don’t grow on trees. The Colts will never be able to find the kind of playoff pedigree Eli Manning has for that small of an investment (or any investment, really). Who would be better suited to take over the most controversial team in the entire league than Eli?
It’s important to remember that Eli has never sustained any kind of major injury in his career. There’s little reason to think he would break down any sooner than Drew Brees or Tom Brady, giving him at least another year or two of potential elite play (in the right situation). The Giants would avoid a major quarterback controversy involving the most popular player in franchise history, while the Colts could put a band-aid on a disastrous situation.
It’s hard to imagine who would say no in this potential trade. Eli does have a no-trade clause, but he has to be smart enough to realize the impending controversy that is coming no matter how well he plays in 2019. He also has to be smart enough to realize that the Colts’ roster is far better than the Giants’ roster at this point and time.
There still has been no solid information leaked on this matter, but both GM’s should be getting no the phone to feel each other out. This really could be a win-win scenario for all parties involved.