The Indianapolis Colts have a lot of questions to answer this off-season, and they need to get going. Philip Rivers has announced his retirement and the Colts have been active in the quarterback market. With Rivers returning to the playoffs in his first and only year, the organization wants to keep its place in the AFC.
They finished the season 11-5 and made the playoffs, but lost 27-24 to the Buffalo Bills in the Wild Card round. When Rivers signed in the offseason, it remained to be seen how long he would stay there, so it’s no surprise that he decided to call it a day. Jacoby Brissett is entering the market, and rookie Jacob Eason may not yet be ready to be a full-time regular on a team aiming for the playoffs.
However, the Colts are a playoff team in 2021 and should be active enough to try to get a quarterback, and Carson Wentz is one of the names circulating in trade negotiations, especially after Nick Sirianni left the Colts to be the main man at the Philadelphia Eagles.
The good news is that the Colts are second in the league, and there are a lot of options for this franchise. They need to make some moves, and long time receiver TY Hilton may be on his way out, and the question remains what will happen to this group of receivers, whether Hilton will stay or not.
The Colts desperately need a quarterback, and whether they have Wentz or someone else, or they have a draft pick, they need to do something this season to stay competitive next season.
You may not cut back much, but there are a few ways to get a little more room in the hoods.
Colts Cup candidate: TE Jack Doyle.
This may come as a surprise, but let’s see. Doyle will have a cap of $5.7 million, which is the sixth highest on the team. In the backroom, however, there are Doyle and Mo Ali Cox and, of course, rumors of interest in guys like Jonnu Smith and Jared Cook.
Jack Doyle with a clean outlet 🙌 @doylejack84 @Colts
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– Checkdown (@thecheckdown) October 18, 2020
Doyle is not bad, although he had only 251 yards and 23 three-point catches in 2020. He’s not the player he once was and with nearly $6 million in the pipeline for 2021, the Colts could use that money to bring in another quality tight end if they wanted to.
His best season was in 2017, with 80 catches for 680 yards and four touchdowns for the Colts, but he hasn’t come close to those numbers since, a fact that hasn’t escaped everyone, including Doyle himself.
It is unlikely that the Colts will get Burton back after a disappointing year, and if they let Doyle go, they could enter the free agent market like Smith or even Hunter Henry if he does not reapply in Los Angeles.
The Colts’ offense is based on youth with Jonathan Taylor, Michael Pittman and everyone who will be throwing passes at Indianapolis next season. The influx of youth on this team could make Doyle expendable.
Add to that the fact that the offense in Indy will likely consist of running backs, with Taylor, Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins being perhaps the best running backs in the NFL.
The biggest hats on him are those of Deforest Buckner, Ryan Kelly, Grover Stewart, Quenton Nelson and Mark Glowinski. It is highly unlikely that any of these guys will be eliminated next season, especially when you consider that three of them make up more than half of the offensive line, and Buckner caused quite a stir after his arrival from the San Francisco 49ers.
It’s always helpful to have a ton of cap space, and free up some more space by allowing someone like Doyle to target them at free agent quarterbacks or big stands with a tight end or wide receiver, especially if Hilton is going to play elsewhere.
Either way, the Colts don’t need to cut this season, as they have plenty of cap space. However, if they want to spend a lot of money on one of the free agents, they may end up scrapping Doyle and trying their luck elsewhere.
The offseason will be busy for the Colts, and the top priority should be solving the quarterback problem, but don’t be surprised if the Colts make a few cuts to free up some more money and give themselves more flexibility in changing their squad.
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