ESPN predicts a wild offseason for the Colts at the quarterback position

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 04: Matt Ryan #2 of the Indianapolis Colts warms up before kickoff against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on December 4, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 04: Matt Ryan #2 of the Indianapolis Colts warms up before kickoff against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on December 4, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /
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The Indianapolis Colts have to address the quarterback position this offseason and ESPN sees Indy taking an interesting approach.

Another NFL offseason where the Indianapolis Colts have to address the quarterback position. That has been the norm in Indy over the last few seasons. This year, however, addressing the quarterback position has taken a backseat to Indy’s coaching search. Deep into a second round of interviews, the Colts will first find a new head coach and then they’ll decide what direction they’re going to go at quarterback.

Matt Ryan still has a season remaining on his contract but after being benched twice in his first season in Indy, it’s almost certain that he’ll never start for the Colts again, and likely won’t even be on the roster. Will Indianapolis try another veteran that’s looking for a new team or will the Colts finally draft a young quarterback? With the fourth-overall pick, Indy is in a position to get one of the top QBs in this draft class.

Experts at ESPN don’t believe that this will be an either-or situation; they are predicting that the Colts will add a veteran quarterback and also draft a quarterback with the No. 4 overall pick. In a recent piece simulating NFL QB changes, ESPN had Indy cutting Matt Ryan, signing Jameis Winston in free agency, and drafting Alabama’s Bryce Young with the fourth-overall pick.

ESPN predicts Colts sign Jameis Winston and draft Bryce Young

ESPN projects Indianapolis being able to sign Jameis Winston to a light, one-year deal worth $6 million with only $3 million guaranteed. Winston would give the Colts some security if the rookie quarterback isn’t ready and Indy would give Winston a place to continue playing, even if it’s temporary. A best-case scenario for Winston would be he gets to start the full year and plays well while the first-round quarterback gets to develop.

The first-round quarterback that Indianapolis is projected to draft is Bryce Young. CJ Stroud went to the Houston Texans at No. 2 in this simulation, so the Colts take Young. Highlighting Young’s strengths and concerns, Stephen Holder writes, “He is an outlier when it comes to measurables. But his unique talent supersedes those concerns, from his accuracy to his playmaking ability to his elite pocket presence — all of which can help immediately jump-start a punchless Colts offense.” Holder also points out that with Winston on the roster, Indy wouldn’t have to throw Young out there before he’s ready.

While this is a busy offseason, it’s an approach that makes a lot of sense. Indianapolis would definitely love to select a quarterback that’s ready to go and thrive in the league from day one but that’s not always the case. It’s likely that the Colts get some insurance in a veteran as well. That could be Winston, or it could be one of the two quarterbacks already on the roster, Nick Foles and Matt Ryan. Whoever the choices are, Indy’s top two quarterbacks entering camp next season will likely be a former starter and a rookie.