With the Colts trading for Buckner and then signing Rivers, they are signaling to their fanbase that they are going all-in now.
Man has Chris Ballard had himself a big couple of days. In these first few days of free agency, Ballard has done a complete 180 from the free agency plans he has had in his previous season. He has made big splashy signings that cost a lot of money.
The first of those was trading the 13th overall pick for DeForest Buckner. After trading for him, they re-signed him to a 5-year deal worth $21 million a year. That’s an enormous sum to give up for someone who has only made one Pro Bowl, even if he is supremely talented.
Buckner is basically becoming their first-round pick. He is a proven commodity that can improve the defensive line immediately. But the second move they made in free agency may not be an upgrade. In fact, it could be a downgrade from what they had.
The Colts signed Philip Rivers to a one-year deal worth $25 million. Rivers is coming off perhaps his worst season of his career and is 38 years old. Clearly Ballard is putting faith in him knowing the system and working with Reich again, and hopefully that improves his play.
No matter how you feel about these deals, there’s no doubt that the Colts believe they can win now with the roster they have around these two guys. They wouldn’t have spent so much money on just two guys if they didn’t believe in their ability to win.
This has to be exciting to any Colts fan. Anytime management pushes the chips into the middle of the table, it means that a very exciting season is about to happen. If the Colts don’t win though, some questions will be asked about how prudent of a move this was.
No matter how you feel about the moves that were made, the 2020 season will be one where they push for a title.