The 2021 NFL trade deadline is just days away, and at this point, nobody has a clue how the Indianapolis Colts plant to attack it.
Fifth-year general manager Chris Ballard isn’t one to push the envelope at the deadline, but there are positions — like wide receiver, safety and cornerback — on the roster that are crying out for help due to injury.
At the same time, though, Ballard needs to play this carefully. If he shows his hand, teams will feed into that desperation and the Colts could end up getting hosed in a potential deal. With Indy facing an uphill climb to get back into playoff contention, Ballard will likely only pull the trigger at the perfect price.
Speaking of getting fleeced in trades, what better time than the deadline to highlight the worst trades in Colts franchise history? There were several worthy candidates, but these three deals stuck out like a sore thumb.
3 worst trades in Indianapolis Colts history
3. The Jeff George trade
Leading up to the 1990 draft, the Colts were in search of a franchise quarterback. The only problem? They finished 8-8 in 1989 and needed to orchestrate a massive deal to trade up and select one.
The Falcons possessed the No. 1 overall pick that year, but that didn’t last very long after Indy called up with a ridiculous trade offer for the pick. Atlanta accepted and the Colts went on to draft Jeff George, a homegrown talent from Warren Central High School in Indianapolis.
In four seasons with the Colts, George amassed a 14-35 record as the starter and threw more interceptions (46) than touchdowns (41). Ironically enough, he was traded to Atlanta in 1994 after they moved on from Chris Miller.
In exchange for the top pick, the Colts unloaded offensive tackle Chris Hinton, wideout Andre Rison, a1991 first-round pick and a 1990 fifth-rounder. Hinton was already a six-time Pro Bowler with Indy, but he went on to play six more seasons, which included a Pro Bowl selection in 1991 and an All-Pro nod in 1993.
Rison, meanwhile, was another great get for the Falcons. He notched more than 1,000 receiving yards in four of his five seasons in Atlanta, finishing with 423 catches for 5,633 yards and 56 touchdowns in total.
The first-round pick became Colorado WR Mike Pritchard, who tallied 5,187 receiving yards over his nine-year career.
When you couple the success Hinton and Rison had with the Falcons — plus Pritchard’s solid, albeit unspectacular, career — with George not amounting to anything for the Colts, this trade was a no-brainer for inclusion on this list.