There’s been growing conversation about whether the Indianapolis Colts did enough this offseason to put Carson Wentz in the best position to succeed.
While he’s no doubt entering a more favorable situation — he’ll have a superior offensive line, rushing attack and receiving corps compared to what he was working with in Philly — the Colts haven’t exactly gone that extra mile to ensure Wentz flourishes in 2021.
After all, they bypassed numerous opportunities to bolster their wide receiving corps in free agency, and the Eric Fisher signing, for as much upside as it has, means Indy will likely be starting a backup at left tackle for the first couple weeks of the season.
You know what would make up for all of that? Trading for tight end Zach Ertz, who seems like a surefire bet to be either dealt or released in the near future.
However, the latest buzz indicates the Buffalo Bills are preparing a move for Ertz, as they just restructured Stefon Diggs’ contract, which created $7.8 million (!) in cap space.
In other words, Indy is going to look really cheap if their AFC rivals pull this off.
The Colts are going to hear it from fans if Buffalo trades for Zach Ertz.
The Bills were one of the busiest teams in the NFL offseason, and it appears they’re prepared to equip Josh Allen with another weapon despite the fact he’s coming off a year in which he finished top five in completion percentage, passing yards, touchdowns and passer rating.
Is that not the right way to maximize a championship window? At the very least, it’s the basic principles of general managing in terms of how to treat a franchise quarterback.
Either way, the Bills restructuring Diggs’ deal proves Indy playing the financial card as a reason not to trade for Ertz (or even Julio Jones) is a bunch of nonsense. In theory, Buffalo should have zero wiggle room to add more marquee talent after the offseason they put together.
The longtime Eagles star is entering the final year of his deal, which will account for a $12.72 million hit against the cap. When you consider that the Colts have over $17 million in remaining cap space, they simply have no excuse to let him go to the Bills, who just knocked them out of the playoffs and have less financial flexibility.
We say that despite the fact that Indianapolis is currently working on new deals for Darius Leonard, Quenton Nelson and potentially Braden Smith. Teams around the league are always finding ways to finesse the NFL’s cap system, and the financially-adept Chris Ballard better join this trend if he’s serious about making the Colts a championship contender.
If he doesn’t, he’s earned all the criticism that comes his way.