The Indianapolis Colts had an interesting scenario on their hands. When Andrew Luck retired, many fans opined that the team should have drafted Russell Wilson in the 2012 NFL draft instead of Luck since he managed to take his team to two Super Bowls. Many saw 2022 as a chance to right a wrong. Wilson was rumored to be on the trading block with the Seahawks and although it was going to take a king’s ransom, many fans were willing to make the payment.
It was reported that Jim Irsay was a fan of the quarterback in early 2022. That speculation set Colts message boards into a frenzy expressing opinions on what it would take to acquire Wilson and whether it would be worth it. Sure, some most likely didn’t want him, but in a season in which the Colts missed the playoffs and Carson Wentz was the scapegoat, many believed Wilson could put them over the hump and provide long term stability. The Broncos gave up players, two firsts, two seconds, and a fifth round draft pick less than two years ago to obtain his services.
A look back at the Seattle-Denver trade: pic.twitter.com/v17msRCgJx— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 27, 2023
Now, the Colts didn’t really get a world beater in Matt Ryan, but they were also able to cut their loses one year later for much less after giving up much less. It didn’t work out, but as you can see it could have been much worse. The Broncos will be on the hook for a ton of dead money; 85 million to be exact.
Can you imagine if the Colts would have jumped through these hoops to acquire Wilson only to bench him before the end of two years? This franchise has had egg on its face regarding its selection of quarterbacks, but this would have been an entire carton’s worth. Irsay would have looked like a fool, and this might have set the team back another five or more years. First, the wrong choice would have been made. Secondly, the team would have surrendered high and cheap draft picks. Thirdly, the team would be strapped with a high dead cap hit for the next two years. Teams do not recover from that type of folly very quickly.
Yes, the Colts have had their moments of unfavorable press, but thank your lucky stars this wasn’t one of them. This deal looks like a disaster. For all the armchair GMs out there who were clamoring for the Colts to make the deal to bring Wilson in, be glad Chris Ballard couldn’t make it happen or simply wasn’t listening. Sometimes that best deals are the ones that never get done. For Colts fans and Wilson, this is certainly the case.