Never too early: #12 under Center for the Colts in 2021?
The last vision Colts fans had of #12 on a football field dates back to January 12th, 2019 at Arrowhead Stadium. That was the last time Andrew Luck would appear in a football game for the blue and white.
Luck had just completed a marvelous season, winning Comeback Player of the Year after battling a brutal shoulder injury that cost him the entire 2018 season. The former #1 overall pick threw for 4,593 yards, completing a career high 67% of his passes, 39 touchdowns, and leading the Colts to the Playoffs for the first time since the infamous ‘Deflategate’ game in New England 5 years prior. Mind you, Luck had a stout Offensive Line in front of him for the first time in his career led by Rookie stud Quenton Nelson, getting sacked a career low 15 times. To put that number into perspective, Luck was sacked on a league low 2.7% of plays.
Indy seemed destined to succeed under new general Frank Reich until Luck sent shock waves through the sports world when he announced his retirement from the game at age 29 just weeks before the start of the 2019 season.
A gloomy cloud hung over Lucas Oil Stadium the entire season. You could just feel the lifeless energy Colts fans were not expelling in the games. Jacoby Brissett filled in nicely, but simply put, Jacoby is a backup in the league. He doesn’t wow you with his legs and although he has a nice arm, he didn’t utilize it very much, something Frank Reich likes to do. He has the experience though and that makes him a valuable piece to this franchise. Just not in a starting role.
No postseason for the Colts in 2019 had Chris Ballard looking outside of the organization for a new signal caller and 38 year old Philip Rivers was the name Ballard was locked in on the whole time and got fairly early in free agency. Rivers signed a one year deal with Indy for $25 million.
It’s important to keep in mind that the Rivers deal is only a year. He didn’t have the best of seasons last year, throwing form a very respectable 4,615 yards and 23 touchdowns, but threw 20 picks and the Chargers went 5-11. Rivers also already has a High School Football Head Coaching job lined up whenever he decides to hang up the cleats. He was hired in early May at St. Michael Catholic High School in Fairhope, Alabama.
So, what’s to say this could be Rivers’ final hoo-rah? Either way, I can promise you there’s a much better option that could become available sooner rather than later.
Anyone heard what’s going on in Green Bay right now? How the Packers traded up to get in the first round just to draft Utah State Quarterback Jordan Love instead of filling the position they desperately needed more depth at in wide receiver?
If you’ve followed football even remotely close the last 2 months, you’d know that lots of reports are coming out of Green Bay saying that Rodgers didn’t like the pick, his act is growing ‘old’, his style of play doesn’t fit with what 2nd year Head Coach Matt LaFleur wants, and so on, so forth.
It wasn’t until A-Rod’s fourth season in the league that he got handed the reigns to the Packers offense. The same could go for Love as well. The problem though, Rodgers has four years, $134 million left on his contract, so he’s more than likely not going anywhere this season. If Green Bay were to pull the unthinkable and cut Rodgers, just to put into context for you, they would owe him $51.1 million, losing $30 million in salary cap space.
Let’s look at 2021 though. Still a long shot, but we’ve got an entire season to play, so anything can happen. Rodgers is owed $36.4 million, but if Green Bay cuts or trades A-Rod, they’d owe him $31.6 million instead, saving $5 million in salary. That is unless a trade is orchestrated and the second party is willing to eat that massive salary.
Let’s speak hypothetically now. Say Green Bay has another stellar year, Rodgers goes for over 4,000 yards, 30 TD’s. The normal. They make the playoffs and say, they fall in the NFC Divisional Round. Good season? Not for Green Bay standards. Let’s also say the relationship between Rodgers and LaFleur hasn’t improved and reports fluster out of Green Bay throughout the season that LaFleur is growing increasingly frustrated with Rodgers style of play and attitude.
Let’s now say that Indianapolis wins the South or captures a Wild Card spot, Rivers throws for over 4, 000 yards, 30 TD’s, but Indianapolis gets bounced in the second round. Both Rivers and Brissett are free agents, so that leaves the Colts with 2020 4th round pick, Jacob Eason as their only signal caller on the roster.
Does Rivers retire and start his career as a High School Football coach down in Alabama? Does Rivers decide to come back for another year?
What about Brissett? Does he resign or walk?
Or, does Ballard make a call up north to Green Bay and ask about the availability of their first ballot Hall of Fame Quarterback?
Rodgers will turn 37 this December. He’s stated that he could see himself playing at a high level into his 40’s, just like one Tom Brady is doing.
Rodgers has been a Top 3 Quarterback in the NFL for the past decade. He’s won 2 MVP trophies, All-Pro twice, and he’s won a Super Bowl. He would be the last piece of the puzzle for Indianapolis. 3 years left on his deal, playing his home games inside for the first time ever, joining an already dangerous offense, one of the best offensive lines in front of him, a stout defense, and an overall great ran organization. Drama free.
Age doesn’t concern me with A-Rod. He, like Brady, like Drew Brees, is a different breed. With a good line, these guys can still succeed at a high level in the League.
I know we’re still a little under 3 months away until kickoff, but it’s never too early to dream of scenarios like this right? I mean, find me one Colts fan that wouldn’t want another #12, one that’s a first ballot Hall of Famer in the waiting taking snaps and throwing absolute bombs in Lucas Oil come fall 2021.