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How important is it for the Colts to re-sign Gardner Minshew?

The backup quarterback played a lot in 2023. How essential is it that he return?

NFL: Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts Robert Scheer-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts made an extremely savvy move last offseason when they brought in Gardner Minshew from the Eagles to back up their rookie quarterback. The move made a lot of sense at that time. It was a one-year, low risk deal for a veteran that had experience with the new head coach of the team. His comprehension of the system and his ability to serve as a mentor to Anthony Richardson seemed to be an excellent pairing. Little did the organization or fans know how important he would be to keep the season from a total trainwreck.

After being thrust into significant action as early as week two against Houston, Minshew soon proved to be vital to the team’s success. There was only one game in which he did not see any action; week four against the Rams. Otherwise, with Richardson in and out of the lineup due to various issues, Minshew was an extremely active backup. That all changed when Richardson went down for good against the Titans, and Minshew moved into the permanent starting role.

As the starter, it is completely fair to say that Minshew at times was out of his depth. He would get happy feet and dance into pressure that wasn’t there or overthrow receivers who were open. That comes with the territory, however, as he was never intended to be the starter. You wouldn’t be expected to fill in for your superior at work and do as strong of a job, so why would that be his expectation?

Should the Colts bring Minshew back as the starting quarterback? No, of course not. Richardson is the future. With that said, however, the Colts must do everything they can to entice him to stay in his original role. He was vital this year and worth every penny. We have seen plenty of backups come in as starters due to injury, and the team completely falls off track. His leadership and ability to steady the ship were crucial to the team’s success. The jury is still out on Richardson’s durability, so the Colts have to have a backup on the roster than can fill in quarter-to-quarter and game-to game. Minshew is that perfect option.

Minshew may see more offers for his services than in previous seasons because of what he did this year. Some teams may even offer him the ability to compete to be the starter. If the Colts lose him for that reason, it will be tough but understandable. If they lose him because they didn’t do everything they could to bring him back, it will be negligence. Let’s hope they can keep him on the roster for another season or two. He earned a place in this franchise’s future.