4 free-agent QBs the Colts could consider in 2023

The start of free agency is just under one week away as the Indianapolis Colts prepare for the legal tampering period, which will begin March 13.

While the quarterback position is the hottest topic of discussion for Indy, it all has revolved around who they will select in the 2023 NFL draft. But there’s a likely chance they need to spend some cash in free agency to sign a backup for the incoming rookie.

As of this writing, both Matt Ryan and Nick Foles are currently on the roster. We shouldn’t expect that to be the case between now and March 17. The Colts can cut Ryan before that date and save $17.2 million against the cap, and they can save $2.2 million by releasing Foles.

It would be more surprising if they didn’t make those moves before the start of free agency. These are all the available free-agent quarterbacks set to hit the market.

Here’s a look at four free-agent quarterbacks the Colts should consider signing in 2023:

Gardner Minshew

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Age: 26
Previous Team: Philadelphia Eagles

Minshew might make the most sense if the Colts want a true backup who also could be a bridge option in case the incoming rookie needs more time to develop. He already has experience working with new head coach Shane Steichen, having worked together for two seasons.

Minshew won’t make the Colts a playoff-bound team alone, but he’s one of the best backup options in the league and is a great personality for the locker room.

Jameis Winston

AP Photo/Butch Dill

Age: 29
Previous Team: New Orleans Saints

This one comes with a bit of projecting because Winston still has to be released. However, that’s the expected move with Derek Carr joining the Saints as their new starter. The Colts have had some interest in Winston during previous offseasons so it wouldn’t be a total surprise to see him on the short list of potential backups.

Marcus Mariota

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Age: 29
Previous Team: Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons released Mariota this offseason as a cap casualty, and it’s likely they move forward with Desmond Ridder under center. Mariota would be an intriguing fit for the Colts offense with Steichen now taking over. He has plenty of experience running an RPO offense, and he would be a solid leader in what is likely to be a young quarterback room.

Lamar Jackson

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Age: 26
Previous Team: Baltimore Ravens

Okay so, technically, Jackson is set to be a free agent, but he’s expected to be franchise tagged before Tuesday’s deadline passes. So this one is kind of cheating. The Colts would have to likely pony up two first-round picks at a minimum and then sign Jackson to a lucrative contract. This move obviously would negate drafting a rookie in April but would give the Colts an established All-Pro caliber talent.

We should not expect this to happen at all, but considering Jackson’s elite talent and his strong fit with Shane Steichen’s type of offense, it shouldn’t be completely dismissed out of hand. Still, we can dream.

Story originally appeared on Colts Wire