According to team owner Jim Irsay at this week’s NFL owners meeting in Palm Beach, Florida, the Indianapolis Colts attempted to trade for a young ‘franchise quarterback’ with two first round picks, but the trade never materialized (via The Athletic’s Zak Keefer):
— admitted they were in "a long dark tunnel" in late January — determined to move on from Wentz, no Plan B in place — and they explored everything, including trading for a "young" franchise QB who would've costed 2 first-round picks. Didn't name the player.— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) March 29, 2022
Now, who that unnamed quarterback was isn’t exactly clear, but it’s easy to speculate that it could’ve been any one of a number of promising young passers such as Kyler Murray (24), Justin Fields (23), Trey Lane (21), and even Deshaun Watson (26)—whose teams might’ve had at least some reason to attempt to trade them (a lot in Watson’s case).
In the end, the Colts appear comfortable with soon-to-be 37 year old veteran quarterback Matt Ryan at least in the short-term—and the team didn’t have to surrender multiple first round picks to acquire him in the process (instead it was a mere 2022 3rd round pick).
However, the Colts did attempt to acquire a potential younger and more dynamic starter all together—albeit at a much greater draft capital cost given up. For at least a few of those aforementioned ‘young passers’ (namely, Watson, and arguably Murray), the price was probably closer to three first round picks however.
Either way, the Colts came up short, and time will tell whether Ryan can work his veteran magic and regain close to his Pro Bowl caliber form—although likely not MVP again.
However, re-claiming the AFC South and earning a playoff spot would be a good start.