According to The MMQB’s Albert Breer, the Indianapolis Colts are one of seven teams ‘solidly in’ on recently made available Detroit Lions franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford—with the price tag of presumably at least a first round pick:
“I’m going to tell you that the interest has been strong in Matthew Stafford over the last five to six days,” Breer said on Saturday. “The Lions’ brass was in Mobile, Alabama [for the Senior Bowl], and they’ve been talking trade on Stafford. I think they’d like to move him before the Super Bowl.”
“I think they’re going to get a first round pick. Maybe a first round pick plus something else.”
“I can give you seven teams that I know are solidly in it, that would be Washington, Carolina, New England, Indianapolis, Chicago, and eh, San Francisco and L.A., you know we’ll see [on those last two teams].”
“I think he’d like to go to California. Whether or not that happens or not, I’m not sure.”
“. . . I think where he’d prefer to go may not be the best offer that the Lions get for him.”
Specifically, regarding whether the Colts can ultimately land Stafford:
“Maybe, although I think the price tag is kind of going up on him, so I don’t know how far the Colts are willing to go,” Breer answered. “It wouldn’t shock me if the Colts wound up trading up in the draft.”
Now, there have been a lot of reports coming out regarding Stafford, so each one should be taken with a grain of salt right now.
That being said, Breer’s report confirms that the Colts are firmly in the mix among teams vying for Stafford—despite not much other media smoke or leaks recently connecting them.
It also sounds like Colts general manager Chris Ballard, who tends to stick to his guns, usually has a number and value in mind, and when the bidding exceeds that, has been known to walk away from the table when it gets beyond his price point, has limits for acquiring Stafford these days—even with Indianapolis’ major need at the position on a ‘built to win now’ Indianapolis roster.
Where it gets interesting though is that Ballard reportedly might balk at the ever-increasing price tag for Stafford—walking away, but yet, will still trade what would probably be a pair of first round picks + change to trade up for a top rookie quarterback (maybe Ohio State’s Justin Fields?).