PFF Identifies Veteran QB Options For Colts Amid Carson Wentz Injury Concerns

Plenty of veteran quarterbacks remain options for the Indianapolis Colts with the uncertainty surrounding Carson Wentz's foot injury. Don't expect Chris Ballard and Co. to make a rash decision at the position though.
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With an off day Sunday from training camp, the Indianapolis Colts' players, coaches and front office members get the chance to step back and process the first week of training camp.

For the coaches and front office members, the the off day gives them a chance to assess the quarterback position following the injury to Carson Wentz, which should keep the new franchise quarterback out of the entire preseason, and possible even some early-season games in the regular season. 

While it makes all the sense in the world for the Colts to figure out what they have in second-year quarterback Jacob Eason and rookie Sam Ehlinger during Wentz's downtime, plenty are starting to speculate that Chris Ballard and the Colts could add a veteran quarterback to handle the starting duties, should Wentz miss time. 

Though that doesn't appear to be the case with the Colts, especially after the franchise added veteran backup Brett Hundley hours before Saturday's practice in Westfield, there are some big-name options available for cheap across the NFL that could pique the Colts' interest. 

Pro Football Focus took a shot at addressing some of the speculation, highlighting four names that could be short-term answers at the position in Indianapolis, even with Hundley in the fold. 

PFF's Sam Monson listed Las Vegas backup Marcus Mariota, Chicago's Nick Foles, San Francisco's Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacksonville's Gardner Minshew as options for the Colts, should Ballard and Co. look to the trade market for another quarterback. 

With most of the movement already done in the market, the options are few and far between. One obvious move would be to call the Las Vegas Raiders to see what it would take to trade for Marcus Mariota. A former No. 2 overall pick, Mariota also played his way to the bench in the AFC South but looked excellent in a cameo performance for the Raiders last season and may be somebody the team believes has put his game back together from the bench. At the same time, Jimmy Garoppolo is now a lame-duck quarterback after the San Francisco 49ers selected Trey Lance with the third overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. If the team believes Lance is ready to start this season, they may be willing to cash in on a quarterback that still has some value. Garoppolo has been a durability nightmare in his time as the starter in San Francisco, but he has consistently earned higher PFF grades than Wentz when he has been healthy. Two other and increasingly desperate options are Nick Foles and Gardner Minshew. One of those requires a trade within the division, which seems unlikely. And for as much as Foles has rescued a Reich offense in the past, the shine has come off his career since. He may nonetheless represent the best veteran option they have.

Those are interesting names to say the least. 

Foles is the one that makes the most sense, considering his ties to Frank Reich and Wentz, and the price of acquiring him, which would undoubtedly be nothing more than a late-round draft pick in 2022 or 2023. 

As for Mariota, that would be one I'd avoid, simply because he has plenty of tape that was poor and doesn't quite fit what the Colts want to do under Reich. Though he did have a bit of a resurgence in 2020 after taking over for a short stretch due to a Derek Carr injury, he's a trade candidate to avoid at this point. 

Jul 28, 2021; Westfield, IN, United States; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacob Eason (9) at Grand Park.

Minshew and Garoppolo simply make no sense whatsoever from the Colts' perspective. Garoppolo is still owed roughly $25.6 million this season, and there's no way the Colts could fit that under the salary cap, nor would the 49ers eat any portion of that deal AND trade him away. 

As for Minshew, there's simply no way the Jaguars would all of a sudden turn around and help the team they're chasing by trading away an experienced QB like Minshew within the division. He's certainly fun to project onto the Colts' offense behind the offensive line and weapons the Colts possess, but that's a move that is simply not happening. 

Though there are plenty of experienced names to debate out there for the Colts following the Wentz injury, the Colts would be best served sitting tight and learning all that they can about Eason and Ehlinger, considering they've invested valuable draft picks into the two young signal callers already. 

Jul 29, 2021; Westfield, IN, United States; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Sam Ehlinger (4) at Grand Park.

Have thoughts on what the Colts should do at quarterback in light of the Carson Wentz injury? Drop a line in the comments section below letting us know how you feel! 


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