By now you've probably heard the big news about the trade that happened in the NFL this afternoon. The Seahawks sent wide receiver Percy Harvin to the Jets for a conditional pick. It was a move that seemingly came out of nowhere and proved yet again how unpredictable the National Football League is.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>The NFL is so unpredictable</p>— Vick Ballard (@VickBallard) <a href="https://twitter.com/VickBallard/status/523229760424804354">October 17, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Regarding trades, many people think back to the biggest trade to happen last year, and that was the Colts sending a first round pick to the Browns for running back Trent Richardson, a move that has been heavily discussed here. Colts general manager Ryan Grigson has been no stranger to trades, and some of them have worked out very well (such as the trade for Vontae Davis or the trade up in the draft to get T.Y. Hilton) and some of them haven't (such as the Richardson trade). So far this year, however, he's been quiet on the trade front (besides for a move in training camp to add an extra pick by trading Marcus Burley to Seattle). Will that remain? The trade discussion among Colts fans has picked back up in recent days with some quotes from owner Jim Irsay, via the Indianapolis Star's Stephen Holder:
"Obviously we're taking it a game at a time, but this week Ryan and Chuck and I met and talked about anything we can do before the trade deadline (or) past the trade deadline in terms of having some young, ascending players who might be able to help us. . . and do whatever we can to get that edge," Irsay said. "Obviously health is going to play a big role in how we move forward. If we can stay relatively healthy, I think this team really has something special. That's what I'm focused on. It's exciting to see."
That could be the foreshadowing of something big to come, or it could be just idle chatter. Either way, Irsay sounds like a guy who does not intend to waste the opportunity before his team.
Holder notes that Ryan Grigson has moved into an effort to collect draft picks rather than trade them away, which we saw an example of with the Burley trade, and this because he knows of the looming contracts of some big name plays like, say, Andrew Luck or T.Y. Hilton. In other words, a big trade like last year is very unlikely for a Colts team that is more concerned about saving picks rather than trading them.
With that said, however, Irsay sounds like a guy who clearly understands the opportunity the Colts have now: they're beginning to look like Super Bowl contenders once again and they're doing it with Luck and others on smaller deals thanks to their still being on their rookie contracts. As an owner, that's definitely not an opportunity you want to waste, and Irsay knows that. Thus his comments make perfect sense, that the Colts would explore potential trades up until the October 28th trade deadline. Really, there's no surprise with that. The Colts will explore their options, like always, but whether or not they actually make a move is something much less uncertain.
At first thought, the answer is no. I would be surprised if the Colts make a trade. To the best of my knowledge, there's currently nothing on the horizon in terms of potential trades for the Colts, and it just doesn't make a lot of sense for them to do so. Last year they learned all too well that guys are available for a reason when they traded for Richardson, and as the saying goes, fool me once shame on you, but fool me twice shame on me. Any trade the Colts would make would very likely not be anything major, and I don't really anticipate any trade happening at all.
The Colts want to win this year, no doubt, but they also have to work in light of the future and in light of some big contracts upcoming. Soon, Grigson won't be able to go on spending sprees in the spring but will rather be working in Indianapolis to re-sign his own guys. And when that time comes (which is coming soon), the Colts will need to build through the draft and fill needs that way. Giving up draft picks now for someone available in a trade is probably not the best thing to do right now. And giving up a player for another player? Well, just consider which player you'd like the Colts to trade and then ask yourself honestly - do you think the Colts would really trade that player OR do you think the Colts could really get much for that player? Most likely the answer to at least one of those questions is no.
The Percy Harvin trade today reminds us of how unpredictable the NFL is, and Jim Irsay's recent comments give some spark to rumors about the Colts and potential trades, but right now it seems very unlikely that the Colts would make a move. With Ryan Grigson, however, we can never rule it out, and as we know about the National Football League, things can change in a hurry.