The Indianapolis Colts didn’t know what they were getting when they signed Gardner Minshew to back up their rookie quarterback in 2023. In many seasons, the backup quarterback is a forgotten position that only sees action in biggest of blow outs or non-essential games. That couldn’t have been farther from the truth last year as Minshew saw action in nearly every single game. With his high usage rate and relative success, how important is it for the Colts to bring him back next year?
In short, it is essential.
I love me some Anthony Richardson, but I can’t shake the feeling that I don’t trust his injury history to date. Sure, some things may be a fluke. From a hurt ankle, to a concussion, to a season ending AC joint injury, though, how can I fully believe he can make it through a seventeen game season?
Minshew came in when the team needed him most and stepped up in a big way. Say what you want about the Pro Bowl, but he was selected. That says something about the quality of his play in 2023. When most starting quarterbacks go down, the season is lost. Not only were the Colts able to maintain competitiveness but they were also in the thick of the playoff chase. That isn’t something many would have pegged this team for at the beginning of the season and certainly not when Richardson went down.
You can get a backup quarterback anywhere, but you can’t find one that knows the system as well as Minshew or that you can trust as much as him to fill in if Richardson goes down for any length of time. The question isn’t even whether the Colts should sign him but rather will they be able to. Last year was a heck of an audition for Minshew, and other teams took notice. Will someone else lure him with the chance to be the starter? If that doesn’t happen, he is a must to bring back.
I think a two-year deal sounds good as long as Minshew is satisfied signing for a higher-end backup quarterback price. Unless the market for him to be a starter is hot, I see no reason for Minshew to leave either. He knows he has value, and there is potential to play here and there. It seems like the perfect match. The Colts just need to put it together.