Andrew Luck has not experienced any setbacks in a long-awaited recovery thus far during Colts camp, but his 2017 absence allowed for a one-time third-string quarterback to see nearly a full season’s worth of starts.
And Jim Irsay doesn’t want to part with Jacoby Brissett, regardless of Luck’s status. The Colts rebuffed trade offers during the spring for their current backup quarterback, but it’s unclear what teams proposed. However, the outspoken owner said he has no plans to trade Brissett — even for a first-round pick.
“All of a sudden, we have the best backup quarterback in football,” Irsay said, via Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star. “I don’t think we’d accept a (first-round pick in a trade) for him, we think he’s that good.”
That would seem like a lofty asking price for a former third-round pick, but the Colts obviously have a strong reason to employ a quality backup. Despite being a preseason trade acquisition, Brissett started 15 games last season. While his 39.6 Total QBR ranked 27th last season, the former N.C. State passer did not have an offseason to acclimate to his new offense.
Brissett is under contract through the 2019 season and doesn’t have any $1MM-plus base salaries on his rookie deal. While it would be surprising if the Colts legitimately turned down a first-round pick in this case, teams have been protective in the recent past regarding backups — the Bengals with A.J. McCarron coming to mind. Though, the 49ers acquiring Jimmy Garoppolo — stationed in front of Brissett in 2016 — for a second-rounder may make Irsay’s first-round pledge moot.
Brad Kaaya and Temple-produced UDFA Phillip Walker are the other QBs on the Colts’ roster.
Irsay went on to express confidence in Luck’s health, indicating he has “no doubt” about his starter’s arm strength despite the immense layoff. Irsay admitted Luck’s inability to return to action last season surprised him, but now the Colts have a remarkably better signal-caller situation than they did a year ago at this time.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.