Ever wondered how Luck’s retirement would have been handled in the Ryan Grigson era? The mere idea of that terrifies me. Even though the sudden retirement of your franchise quarterback weeks before the start of the regular season is enough to put plenty of GMs into a tailspin, Ballard already had a plan B in Jacoby Brissett and now signed one of the best backup quarterbacks available in Brian Hoyer.
The way Ballard and the Colts handled the quarterback situation makes me firmly believe that this regime will definitely get the Colts to the promised land, even if it takes a little longer than expected. Since Luck retired, Ballard has re-signed Jacoby Brissett to a new two-year, 30M (20 guaranteed) deal, and signed Hoyer to back him up on a cheap 3 year contract. In Brissett, the Colts have a more than capable starting quarterback, and he may surprise everyone considering the last time he was the starter the Colts offensive line was perhaps the worst in franchise history and the running game relied solely on veteran Frank Gore. Now, Brissett will have plenty of playmakers on offense and a rock-solid offensive line in front of him, I expect tremendous things out of him this year.
If Brissett does not play up to standard, and the Colts miss the playoffs, then the Colts have the option of pursuing a new franchise quarterback in the upcoming Draft. Firstly, Brissett’s contract does not handcuff the team long term, as the Colts have an easy out after this season, and also the Colts have plenty of Draft capital to move up and put themselves in a position to get a blue-chip prospect, like Jordan Love, or Jake Fromm. Given the expertise Ballard has shown scouting and judging talent on prospects, and also playing the Draft for his benefit, if the Colts do decide to take a rookie quarterback, I blindly rely on Ballard’s ability to do so.
Overall, we are extremely lucky to have such a talented and hard-working GM on our team, and even though Luck’s retirement hurts deeply, I still think the Colts will be Lombardi contenders throughout the next decade.