Colts: 3 mistakes Indy cannot make at 2021 trade deadline

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 12: Indianapolis Colts GM Chris Ballard (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 12: Indianapolis Colts GM Chris Ballard (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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Marlon Mack, Colts
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – OCTOBER 11: Marlon Mack #25 of the Indianapolis Colts (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

The Indianapolis Colts are approaching the trade deadline at 3-5. Though they have managed to pick up some easy wins against the Dolphins, Texans, and a 49ers team that was overcome by inclement weather in primetime, they aren’t favorites to win the division.

Even with the injury to running back Derrick Henry, the Tennessee Titans are ahead by three games in the division, and their wins against Indianapolis give them the advantage in any tiebreaker scenario.

This could prompt Chris Ballard to get aggressive at the trade deadline looking for fixes.

However, even the best GMs know when to show restraint, and making major changes to a team that is multiple games out of first place with no first-round draft choice could be a good way to handicap this roster and let Tennessee own the division for years to come.

The Colts need to make sure they don’t fall into these three trap holes over the course of the next several hours, as Ballard could end up doing more harm to the long-term outlook of this team than good if he gets too aggressive and makes some short-sighted deals.

3 mistakes the Indianapolis Colts must avoid at the trade deadline.

3. Not trading Marlon Mack

Mack appeared to be as good as gone after both the player and team confirmed that they were exploring the possibility of a trade, but the recent release of Jordan Wilkins might have some around the team wondering if Mack is going to stay on the roster for the remainder of the season.

This feels like Ballard is holding out hope that a team with an injured running back is going to get desperate and give him tons of picks in exchange for Mack despite his Achilles injury last year. If Ballard is smart, he’ll try to get some form of compensation rather than being stubborn.

The Indianapolis Colts must take what they can get for Marlon Mack.

The market for a running back coming off a serious injury is not going to be as robust as he thinks it will be. If Ballard wants to hold onto Mack, he’ll be third choice in terms of touches, as Jonathan Taylor is turning into a star and Nyheim Hines is a quality pass-catching running back.

Mack has served the Colts well over the course of his career, but there is no reason to continue to take touches away from Taylor and miss out on the chance to get some draft picks in return. Mack can still make some plays, but not to the degree that he must remain on the squad.