There’s no way around it, folks: the Indianapolis Colts appear poised to make a blockbuster trade for a quarterback this offseason.
For a multi-week stretch between their playoff elimination and Philip Rivers’ retirement, it looked as though Deshaun Watson was going to be the only compelling option available. As spectacular as trading for him would be, it was always going to be an uphill climb for the front office given the competing market and sheer haul Houston would demand in return for his services.
Who could the Colts target in the offseason to further entice Matthew Stafford?
Then, however, Matthew Stafford stepped in and informed Detroit that he wants to be traded, presumably to a contender, after a long-suffering tenure with the organization. The subsequent buzz has indicated that the Colts and Stafford have mutual interest in each other, and it’s easy to see why that would be the case.
Based on what we’re reading, it’s not outlandish to tab Indy as the current favorites to win the Stafford sweepstakes. However, since nothing is ever black and white when it comes to trading for top-tier talent, they should really push the envelope this offseason in terms of becoming the most appealing destination possible. With that in mind, here are a few free agent targets that would do just that.
3. Trent Williams
Trent Williams would be an awesome stopgap option at left tackle for the Colts.
The Colts’ extended run of bad luck in terms of player and coaching staff personnel departures started a few weeks ago when left tackle Anthony Castonzo shockingly announced his retirement. At just 32 years old and still in the prime of his career despite battling injuries in two of the last three seasons, the decision was widely viewed as a surprise throughout the NFL.
All too familiar with playing behind shambolic offensive lines, it would no doubt resonate with Stafford if the Colts brought in somebody who can be relied upon to protect his blindside. After all, he’s fresh off laboring through thumb and rib injuries to close the year despite Detroit having nothing to play for.
What better way to debunk any potential trepidation on his end than to sign Trent Williams, arguably the best left tackle of his generation? There was speculation that he couldn’t perform at an elite level anymore prior to being traded to San Francisco in the offseason, but he silenced his doubters by posting his best blocking grade (91.9), according to Pro Football Focus, since 2016.
Williams obviously wouldn’t be the long-term answer at left tackle, but good luck finding a better stopgap option on the open market this offseason. The eight-time Pro Bowler would likely want nothing more than a one-year (maybe two-year) contract, and such a deal would afford the Colts the flexibility of including the No. 21 overall pick in a potential deal for Stafford since they, in theory, wouldn’t have to spend that pick on a top tackle prospect. Seriously, who says no?