The NFL trade deadline is quickly approaching, as trades must take place before 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday. The Indianapolis Colts are 3-4 and have struggled this year, so would they be interested in making any moves?
Before we even start discussing, let's be clear that the answer is that no, they probably won't be interested in making any moves of note. But with that said, should they be?
On Sunday, multiple reports emerged regarding the Cleveland Browns and potentially being willing to trade, well, everyone. NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported that the Browns have entertained discussions for left tackle Joe Thomas and center Alex Mack, two of their best players. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that they have discussed trading outside linebacker Paul Kruger. Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot reported that the Browns are open to trading outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo.
So with the Browns willing to trade several players, should the Colts be interested? I know that as soon as I say that, many people will remember the last notable trade the Colts made with the Browns, sending a first round pick for running back Trent Richardson in 2013, and be scared away, but let's have the discussion nonetheless.
We can rule out Joe Thomas, as he would command a big price and the Colts already invested in a left tackle in Anthony Castonzo, giving him a huge extension before the season. Center Alex Mack, however, is a much more intriguing name for the Colts. In free agency last year, the Colts were reportedly interested in Mack and Mack was reportedly interested in the Colts. He's one of the best centers in the NFL, and the Colts are very weak at center. They have Khaled Holmes and Jonotthan Harrison, but neither are great options and Mack would be a noticeable upgrade. The Colts have failed to really improve their offensive line since Ryan Grigson arrived in Indianapolis, so Mack would bring a nice upgrade and help protect Andrew Luck. It's unclear what the Browns would want for Mack, however, and it's entirely possible (probably likely) that it's far beyond what the Colts would be willing to pay, but Indy should at least inquire to figure out for sure.
Barkevious Mingo was the team's first round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft and has recorded 100 tackles in 38 games, adding seven sacks, 11 passes defensed, and an interception. Paul Kruger was signed as a free agent in 2013 (and was a potential target by the Colts) and played for Chuck Pagano in Baltimore. He notched an 11 sack season last year, but so far this year has recorded just 0.5 sacks. With the Colts desperately needing pass rush help, however, could Mingo or Kruger be an option? Again, the price is probably way too much, and with Kruger the cap hit is probably much more than the Colts would want to take on, but again, it wouldn't hurt to at least ask.
I highly doubt the Colts will make any move in advance of this year's trade deadline, and I think these notable Browns players will probably bring a much higher price than the Colts would want to pay. Furthermore, with the uncertain status of head coach Chuck Pagano and general manager Ryan Grigson, it would be interesting to see how much owner Jim Irsay would endorse making moves this year that could jeopardize the future (in terms of future draft picks). Irsay clearly wants to win this year, but would any one of these moves suddenly turn things around? Probably not. So would Irsay endorse trading future draft picks in order to get any of these players considering the uncertainty surrounding the front office and coaching staff? That remains to be seen. Either way, it's very unlikely that the Colts would make any of these moves.
But what about you? Would you want the Colts to make any of these moves? What other moves do you think would be good for the Colts to look into as we approach the trade deadline?