The Colts will get a close look at potential future WR options in their matchup with Detroit on Sunday.
Fans in Indianapolis want general manager Chris Ballard to orchestrate a blockbuster trade ahead of the Nov. 3 deadline. As enticing as that sounds, however, he probably knows that he would be better off waiting until the offseason, where he will have the option to either trade for or sign a player that fills a position of need (and likely at a lower price).
At this point, it’s widely understood that the most glaring flaws on the Colts roster come at wide receiver, defensive end and depth along the offensive line. The reason analysts are convinced that a trade is so unlikely simply comes down to the lack of appealing options available at those spots.
Furthermore, those blemishes, coupled with truly suspect quarterback play, are the reason Indy isn’t going to compete for a championship this year. Exercising patience just seems like the smartest decision by every stretch of the imagination. However, doesn’t mean that Ballard can’t monitor potential future targets for the rest of the season.
Ironically enough, he will get the opportunity to do just that on Sunday against the Lions, who flaunt one of the most enticing receiver tandems in the NFL in Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones.
Detroit is surprisingly right in the thick of the NFC playoff picture, so odds are they don’t sell ahead at the deadline. However, both Golladay and Jones’ contracts are up at the end of the season and neither player has gained much momentum in negotiations. Golladay was reportedly motivated to get an extension signed and sealed prior to the start of the 2020 season, but discussions never really progressed and were ultimately halted.
It goes without saying that Golladay, 26, is the more attractive option as he’s arguably just entering the prime of his career. The former third-round pick averaged 67.5 receptions for 1,126 yards and eight touchdowns over the 2018 and 2019 campaigns, which included leading all wideouts in TDs (11) last year. He’ll command top dollar on the open market (if he hits it) and the Colts will have plenty of salary cap space to make an offer.
Jones, meanwhile, doesn’t offer nearly as much upside as his Lions teammate, but he would still serve as an upgrade for Indianapolis. He’s still just 30 years old despite being in the league for nine seasons. That obviously isn’t young for a WR, but the former fifth-rounder clearly has plenty of football left in the tank. His career 14.4 yards per reception would help the team’s largely one-dimensional aerial attack.
The bottom line is that Ballard has no excuse not to keep close tabs on the star duo for the remainder of the 2020 campaign. Who knows, maybe he’ll make a run at one of them if the Lions screw up, which they have a famous reputation for, and let them test free agency.