After improving their record by five wins this season, the future is bright for the Indianapolis Colts. With Shane Steichen entering his second year as head coach, and Anthony Richardson recovering and preparing for year two in the NFL, Indy will have high expectations next season. The franchise will have to navigate a challenging offseason to make sure the team can meet those expectations.
The reason the offseason will be challenging for the Colts is that Indianapolis has several key players set to be free agents. While a lot of the focus will be on starters like Michael Pittman Jr., Kenny Moore II, Julian Blackmon, and Grover Stewart, key depth pieces like Gardner Minshew and Zack Moss will also be unrestricted free agents.
Gardner Minshew will be an interesting case in the offseason, because it would be great for the Colts to have him back, but there’s a question of if that will actually happen or not.
Will Gardner Minshew return to the Colts?
When Minshew signed with Indianapolis last offseason, it was clear what his role would be: the veteran in the quarterback room that could fill in until the promising rookie was ready. Anthony Richardson proved to be ready from day one, so it initially seemed like Minshew would never see the field with the Colts.
A season-ending injury to Richardson changed that, making way for Minshew to start 13 games this season, playing in 17 total. Gardner Minshew ultimately threw for 3,305 yards, 15 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. The Colts having him as a backup essentially saved the team from another abysmal year.
Despite that being the case, Anthony Richardson is still QB1 for the Colts and he’s expected to be healthy and ready to start when next season arrives. Minshew, however, still wants to be a starter in this league, and after what he did with the Colts this season, he’ll definitely be looking for an opportunity.
So whether Indy will be able to re-sign Minshew or not will likely depend on his market. If there’s a team that will give Minshew the opportunity to start, he’ll probably take it. If he’s only receiving interest as a backup, it would make sense for him to stay in Indianapolis. The Colts would certainly want that, as Minshew proved to be the perfect safety net for Anthony Richardson.