Colts GM Chris Ballard on Jacoby Brissett: 'The Jury Is Still Out'

Publish date:

Addressing the media during a season-ending news conference on Thursday, Colts GM Chris Ballard was non-committal about QB Jacoby Brissett's long-term future with the team. 

"The jury is still out," Ballard said. "That's why we did the short-term deal with Jacoby. One, to give us some security that we had a player we knew we liked and could go forward with. But also, two, to give us time to figure out if he is the guy or not.

"Jacoby did a lot of good things. He also did some things that I think he would tell you he needs to get better at. But it's a constant evaluation."

Brissett was elevated into the starter's role following Andrew Luck's sudden retirement from the NFL in late August. Upon Luck's announcement, Ballard said then that the franchise had complete confidence in the former seventh-round pick to lead the team. 

Two days after Luck's retirement, Brissett stepped in front of his teammates, telling them, according to Sports Illustrated's Greg Bishop, that he realized that number 12 was a special person, that many of them had come to Indy just to play with Luck and that he made their championship expectations realistic.

 “I’m not going to be 12,” Brissett said. “But listen, I’m playing. Either you like it, or you don’t, but it’s nothing for y’all to freak out about.”

Just days after that, Brissett inked a two-year, $30 million extension, with $20 million guaranteed at signing. He was otherwise entering the final year of his rookie deal, with his contract set to expire at the end of this season.

The Colts' 2019 season (7-9) featured a number of highs and a number of lows. Brissett threw 14 touchdown passes and only three interceptions through the first seven games of the season, including wins over playoff teams Houston, Tennessee and Kansas City. But he threw only four more touchdowns and had three interceptions in the final eight games he played in while dealing with a sprained MCL. Additionally, he missed one game due to injury. 

"It's almost like the tale of two seasons," Ballard said. "At one point, the world is talking about him as an MVP. And then the next moment, they're talking about wanting to run the kid out of town. I mean, it's never as good as it seems and never as bad as it seems."

Brissett's short-term extension provides the team with some options in the future if he does continue to struggle. Ballard, however, reiterated that Brissett, 27, is still young and developing. 

"I'll say this: Right now, yes, Jacoby is our starting quarterback," he said.