What should the trade deadline strategy be for the Colts after falling to 3-5?

With the NFL trade deadline a day away, the Indianapolis Colts will have to make a decision about their plan of action after falling to 3-5.
Indianapolis Colts Training Camp
Indianapolis Colts Training Camp / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

The 2023 NFL trade deadline is almost here. Teams have until Tuesday, October 31, at 4pm ET to make a move. Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Colts are now 3-5. After a hot start to the season, Indy has lost its last three games. Now, the question is what should Indy do at the trade deadline.

The Colts have some very obvious issues on the roster, mainly cornerback. There’s also a need to upgrade at pass rusher. If Indianapolis was better at those two positions the team would have a better record. So will Indy go out and make the necessary moves to save this season or will the Colts give up because of their 3-5 record and be sellers at Tuesday’s deadline?

Should the Colts be buyers or sellers as trade deadline?

Realistically speaking, the season isn’t over for Indy. Yes, the Colts are 3-5, but they’ve been competitive in every game and they have an easy remaining schedule. It’s not impossible for Indianapolis to go on a run and make a push for a wild card spot. However, it’s unlikely that Chris Bllard goes out and makes a major trade to upgrade the roster.

For starters, Ballard is historically inactive at the trade deadline. Additionally, the Colts aren’t really built like a team that’s going to aggressively pursue trades to go all in on a Super Bowl this season. The more likely option is that Indy sells or just doesn’t do anything. So is selling an option?

Possibly. The Colts have a ton of veterans who are playing on the final year of their contract. Guys like Michael Pittman Jr., Kenny Moore II, Julian Blackmon, and Grover Stewart will all be free agents in 2024 and can definitely help contending teams throughout the league. Still, it’s unlikely that Indy moves any of these guys.

Ballard and the Colts typically like to see things through. That means the more likely option for the trade deadline is that Indy does nothing. The team will probably just stick with what they have for the rest of the season and let things fall where they may. That’s also the best option for Indy. The Colts are unlikely to make a deep playoff run, so being a buyer wouldn’t make a lot of sense, because Indy has very clearly been setting up for the future.

With the future in mind, selling at the deadline would make sense, but the veterans that will garner interests are all guys that Indy will likely want to keep, and have a great chance of keeping. Pittman will likely get extended, and Stewart and Moore will probably be back as well. With the exception of Zack Moss, and maybe Julian Blackmon, the tradeable players on the roster are likely apart of the Colts’ future.