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Colts Trade Rumors: Possible Landing Spots For Phillip Dorsett

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If Dorsett really is available for trade, what teams might be interested in getting him?

Indianapolis Colts v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With the rumors floating out there that Phillip Dorsett could be up for grabs if any team is willing to trade for him, we thought it would be a good idea to take a look at some possible landing spots for the receiver. Colts fans have been frustrated and disappointed with the pick of Dorsett since the minute it was announced, and Dorsett’s lack of production only compounded the issue.

While he is not nearly as poor a receiver as most Colts fans choose to believe, he definitely has not lived up to the expectation that is put on a first round pick. A new team might be just the thing Dorsett needs to get a fresh start. The question is, what team might want him enough to trade something for him, and what might the Colts get in return?

Buffalo Bills

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The Bills are in a rebuilding year. Their team has jettisoned their best option at wide receiver in Sammy Watkins and their best cornerback in Ronald Darby in trades earlier this month. They are switching from a 3-4 style defense under previous coach Rex Ryan to a 4-3. The Colts understand how that impacts a roster and it is possible we could stand to benefit from it.

With their clear need for a deep threat at the receiver position and their change in defensive scheme, a natural trade would be to flip linebacker Reggie Ragland and maybe a late round or conditional pick for Dorsett. Ragland is buried on the Bills depth chart and does not fit their new scheme, but is considered an old-school thumper style linebacker, just the thing the Colts have lacked. Projected as a first rounder, he tore his ACL in training camp and has yet to see the field. This could be the opportunity for both teams to fulfill a need and “win” the trade.

Sanjay Lal, the Colts receivers coach came there from a stint with Buffalo this offseason, and while the coaching staff was cleaned out, there may be some holdover in Buffalo with connections to Lal who could help make that happen.

Cleveland Browns

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The Browns have a tough situation at wide receiver. They lost their best receiver, Terrelle Pryor, to free agency. That means they will be relying on Kenny Britt taking over as their number one receiver and Corey Coleman staying healthy to have any kind of a decent receiver group. Given how they have talked about DeShone Kizer as their team’s future, it would make sense to surround him with guys who can help him succeed.

Given that good ol’ Ryan Grigson is working for the Brownies now, it would be interesting to see if he wants to double down on his pick of Dorsett. He has a unique perspective on Dorsett as a player and could work to sell him to the Browns as a reliable option at receiver to grow with their young quarterback. It is likely that the Browns would look to send a draft pick, of which they have plenty, the Colts way in exchange if a trade were made. I would not expect higher than perhaps a 4th or 5th round pick in exchange for Dorsett, and even those might be generous expectations.

Seattle Seahawks

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This one is probably an outlier, but definitely a possibility. Russell Wilson throws a good deep ball, and the deep threats across from Doug Baldwin are Tyler Lockett and Jermaine Kearse. Lockett is still recovering from a broken fibula, and Kearse has struggled both with staying healthy, and in general being an effective contributor this offseason.

The Seahawks might decide Phillip Dorsett would be a good option to bolster that receiving group. Paired alongside Jimmy Graham and Doug Baldwin, Dorsett would have a fresh start and a chance to get a lot of one-on-one looks and deep balls as well as to flesh out the rest of his game.

This one would surprise me, because Seattle tends to grow their own talent, and I’m not sure Dorsett gives them an obvious advantage over what they already have, but he would fit what they like to do and would probably do well there. I think if this trade were to happen it would be for a low draft pick, maybe a 6th or 7th at best, and the Colts would only take it if they have no plans to move on with Dorsett in the future, which I think unlikely.


In all likelihood, I think Dorsett plays this season with the Colts. Until he has proven his value, I just don’t think there is enough to be gained in trading him. Short of the Buffalo trade, which I believe would legitimately benefit both teams, the Colts don’t stand to gain much more than they might simply by giving him another year to play.

He is still a young receiver and has a new receiver coach. If he is able to have Luck healthy most of the year, we just might see big improvements in his game. That won’t necessarily make him safe from a trade in the future, but it would certainly be easier to move him if he can continue to show improvement.