The Colts trading for QB Sam Darnold would be … crazy?
We all know that Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard is more known for his draft excellence than making trades. That, however, is obviously more of a testament to the studs he’s selected over his three seasons at the helm than it is a knock on his ability to properly evaluate and strike deals.
Ironically enough, Ballard’s most breathtakingly lopsided trade came during the 2018 Draft, when he decided to swap picks with the quarterback-needy New York Jets, who went on to nab USC standout Sam Darnold at No. 3 overall.
The Colts famously responded by drafting Notre Dame behemoth Quenton Nelson, who has since developed into one of the most dominant offensive lineman in the NFL, let alone the best at his unheralded guard position.
Fast forward to the present, and Darnold’s future in New York looks so increasingly dubious that it wouldn’t be surprising if the Jets look to unload the former Trojan after the season. Well, anonymous NFL executives believe that they wouldn’t be able to recoup a first-round selection in return for him.
If there was ever a time for Ballard to step in and work his magic, it’s now. After all, trading for Darnold would perfectly punctuate the Colts absolutely fleecing New York three years ago. Imagine if they snagged him at a bargain price this time around?!
If the Jets finish the year with the league’s worst record, it’s very possible that they look to draft Clemson superstar Trevor Lawrence, who is widely regarded as one of the best quarterback prospects in years. Let’s not forget that Darnold wasn’t drafted by current Jets GM Joe Douglas, so he has zero reason to stick with him beyond his rookie contract.
Darnold’s talent has never been the issue. Sure, his decision-making is maddening at times, but we fully believe it would improve if he was in a better situation. The Jets have somehow done more to impede the 23-year-old signal caller’s development than help him realize his full potential. That sadly isn’t going to change anytime soon with them evidently still in the early stages of their rebuild.
The Colts enter the equation as a potential buyer for Darnold in that they don’t currently have a long-term answer at quarterback. Philip Rivers is a nice stopgap option, but odds are Indy doesn’t re-sign him after the season when his one-year deal expires.
A potential move to the Colts — who have an elite OL, budding defense, and competent offensive weapons — would quite literally be the perfect spot for him. With all of this in mind, Ballard shouldn’t think twice about trading for Darnold if the Jets make him available.
The fact that the deal would complete Indy’s ownage of New York would just be icing on the cake of a genius move.