Colts’ general manager Chris Ballard has stated time and time again that, despite popular opinion, he will not trade away backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett unless an offer blows him away. On a team that appears to be two or three players away from being Super Bowl favorites, is holding on to a backup quarterback the call to make? Should the Colts try and get some value for Brissett while they still can?
Jacoby Brissett was acquired via trade when starter Andrew Luck’s health was still the main talking point about the Colts. Brissett started 15 games after Luck’s injury and played solid football. Considering the lackluster talent he had, and the porous offensive line, Brissett managed a respectable season, throwing 13 scores to 7 interceptions. He did have a mediocre 58.8% completion rate, however, and seemed to miss some easy throws every game. Brissett finished the season with a 4-11 record as a starter, but even winning 4 games with that horrible Colts squad was extremely difficult.
After Luck returned to his old form in the 2018, Brissett rode the bench all season. He was a part of two memorable plays, the final Hail Mary against the Eagles when Luck’s arm strength was not 100% yet, and a “Philly Special” completion to Luck on 4th down against the Dolphins. Still, Brissett’s impact to the team goes beyond playing time, as he was always a positive player in the locker room and could be spotted in the sideline with a big smile on his face cheering on his teammates.
Argument for keeping Brissett
The Colts experienced several times in the last decade what can happen when a starting quarterback goes down with injury. The days of Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky are still fresh in the minds of Colts fans, and it was not pretty.
In case of an emergency, Brissett has the tools to step in for #12. He can’t be judged solely based on his numbers from the last season he played. Having watched all 16 games, and studied tape on Brissett, he seems like the type of big-armed quarterback that can make every throw from the pocket, even though his accuracy can be inconsistent at times. With a vastly improved offensive line, and better weapons at his disposal, Brissett should be able to keep the offense afloat if disaster strikes.
Additionally, Brissett’s locker room presence can’t be undervalued. He was the Colts biggest fan last season and his impact in the locker room could be a factor in the Colts’ mental strength after starting the season 1-5.
Arguments for shopping Brissett
Spoiler alert: The arguments for trading Brissett are much longer than the arguments for keeping him. First of all, what is the point in keeping a 26 year old backup, who has interesting trade value, when he does not play at all, and will be leaving after this season? Brissett has just one year left on his contract and he has stated publicly time and time again that he wants to be a starter in the NFL. It is clear that the starting quarterback for the Colts is set in stone probably for the next decade, so it is highly unlikely that Brissett is tempted to re-sign with the Colts.
Luck’s health is no longer a question, and with an offensive line even better than last year, due to expected player progression from Quenton Nelson and Braden Smith, and also taking into account the bonus of continuity, his body should not take the pounding it took in his first 4 seasons, so why should the Colts expect anything bad to happen to Andrew?
Brissett is not vital for the Colts’ success. He is the best backup quarterback in the NFL, but if your starter is healthy all 16 games then you have wasted the possibility of greatly improving the rest of the team, considering the premium value placed on quarterbacks in today’s NFL. Brissett will leave after this season, and, while re-signing him is still a distant possibility, even if the Colts wanted to, it would cost a decent amount of money.
The Colts should try and get a return for Brissett while they still can. There are several teams that need at least a serviceable quarterback. Teams like the Giants, Dolphins, Redskins, and possibly the Bengals (given Andy Dalton’s decline and his inability to win playoff games). A reasonable price for Brissett could be a 2nd/3rd rounder along with a late round pick. Considering the amount of Draft capital the Colts could have if they pull the trigger, and Ballard’s ability to draft instant contributors, the Colts could place themselves as Super Bowl favorites. It would also be interesting to see Ballard draft a developmental quarterback to serve as Brissett’s replacement.
Overall, Ballard should lower the asking price on Brissett and try to cash in him while he still can. Otherwise, the most likely scenario seems to be that Luck plays all 16 games again next season, Brissett rides the bench and then leaves in free-agency for nothing.
What should the Colts do with Brissett?
This poll is closed
Trade him for Draft picks
Keep him and try to resign him