Brissett, who began his career with the Patriots, has been mentioned as a potential bridge option if New England looks to add a low-cost veteran while also using a high draft pick on a QB. But with Rivers retiring, the Colts could look to retain the 28-year-old, who’s started 30 games for them over the last four seasons. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tyrod Taylor also would fit this mold.
If they’re looking for a higher-caliber replacement, the Colts could attempt to pry Matthew Stafford from Detroit or look to reunite head coach Frank Reich with Carson Wentz, though Wentz’s bloated Philadelphia Eagles contract makes him a less likely trade candidate. Stafford is set to earn a base salary of just $9.5 million in 2021, but it’s not yet clear whether the Lions’ new leadership would be open to moving him. Dak Prescott is the top quarterback headed for free agency, but we wouldn’t bet on him leaving the Dallas Cowboys.
The Colts also could target Newton if they believe New England’s offensive structure and poor skill-position talent were more to blame for his struggles than the QB’s own inconsistency. Other impending UFAs include Jameis Winston, Mitchell Trubisky and Andy Dalton.
From a draft perspective, New England and Indianapolis both could be in the mix for the second- and third-tier quarterback prospects available this spring.
The Colts currently own the 21st overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Would they take a chance on Alabama’s Mac Jones if the Patriots pass on him at No. 15? Or consider an aggressive trade-up for someone like North Dakota State’s Trey Lance?
Regardless of how Ballard and his staff choose to proceed this offseason, the effects of Rivers’ retirement will be felt in New England, as well.