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Colts Give Up on Jacob Eason, Waive Ex-UW Quarterback

The former Husky leaves Indianapolis after playing in just one game over two seasons.

He had all the size to be the NFL's next Ben Roethlisberger, but Jacob Eason didn't have that other guy's mental acumen, the ability to command the field.

He won't be the next Johnny Unitas, Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck either.

On Tuesday, the Indianapolis Colts gave up on Eason, the former University of Washington quarterback and their 2020 fourth-round draft pick, waiving him in order to make room for his replacement, Sam Ehlinger, the rookie from Texas.

If he doesn't get another chance in the NFL, the 6-foot-6, 231-pound player from Lake Stevens, Washington, showed how much of a fine line there is between making it and getting cast away in the pros.

Eason leaves Indianapolis after he appeared in just one game over two seasons, as an injury fill-in for starter Carson Wentz against the Los Angeles Rams. Over two short series, he completed 2 of 5 passes for 25 yards. 

One of his misses, though, absolutely destroyed him with the Colts — taking over with 2:25 remaining, he immediately threw an interception to Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey on his second NFL play, cementing a 27-24 Indy loss.

The following week, with Wentz questionable, Eason struggled all week long in practice and coaches lost patience with him and elevated Brett Hundley to the backup role. 

With Ehlinger, a sixth-round pick now coming off the injury list, the Indianapolis front office decided to go with him rather than Eason.

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The Colts did everything they could to prop up Eason and get him ready to play, giving him plenty of reps in three exhibition games, but it wasn't going to happen.

“I think Jacob’s been doing a really good job, he’s been really dialed in,” Colts coach Frank Reich even said in September. “Scott Milanovich, our quarterbacks coach, has spent a lot of time with Jacob, all through training camp and even here in these first couple of weeks, just like he’s playing. If called upon, I’m confident Jacob will do a nice job.”

The fall has been precipitous for the one-time golden boy quarterback from the Northwest. A 5-star recruit and considered the nation's top player at his position in 2015, he began his career at Georgia, started as a true freshman and got injured and lost his job as a sophomore. 

Eason came home to the UW, redshirted a year and replaced graduating four-year starter Jake Browning in 2019. The local guy often was maligned for his pocket composure during a disappointing 8-5 season, one in which threw a couple of interceptions that went for touchdowns and couldn't bring the Huskies back in what were all close losses. 

Once in the NFL, he often dazzled coaches and front-office personnel in practice with his extraordinary arm, making throws that veterans such as Philip Rivers and Wentz swore they could never make.

Yet it all went for naught because of Eason's inability to settle down, see the field and make things happen. 

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