6 free-agent QBs the Colts could sign to back up Carson Wentz

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Kevin Hickey
·5 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The Indianapolis Colts believe they have their starting quarterback in Carson Wentz after trading two draft picks to acquire him from the Philadelphia Eagles. Now, it is time to find a suitable backup in free agency.

While Jacob Eason is still on the roster, the Colts aren’t quite sure what they have in him. Due to a lack of preseason, general manager Chris Ballard has stated they aren’t yet comfortable making him the backup outright this offseason.

Eason could certainly work his way into that role during the preseason, but the Colts are likely to going to need to bring in a veteran face to work behind Wentz for the time being.

The Colts are likely going to have to look on the cheap side, which doesn’t give many appealing options. Here are six players the Colts could sign in free agency to back up their new quarterback in Wentz:

Ryan Fitzpatrick

ALLEN EYESTONE/The Palm Beach Post

Potentially out of their price range, Fitzpatrick would have been a decent option to consider as the starter before the Wentz trade went down. He showed that he still has it during his 2020 campaign with the Dolphins and while he's unlikely to take backup money, there's still a chance the Colts want to bring in a sharp mind to the room. We know how much Ballard values the backup quarterback position so maybe there is a chance they spend a little more to get Fitzpatrick in the room, but he would be the ideal candidate to back up Wentz in terms of having a chance to win if the former has to get into the game.

Tyrod Taylor

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Taylor has been moving around the league ever since he had that solid season with the Buffalo Bills in 2015. He's spent time with the Cleveland Browns as the starter before Baker Mayfield took over and then held the same role with the Los Angeles Chargers before ultimately giving way to Rookie of the Year Justin Herbert. Taylor is interesting because his skill set would allow the Colts to continue running their RPO system while staying clear in the short/intermediate passing lanes. Taylor isn't much of a deep thrower, but he could get the job done and keep the offense afloat if something happened to Wentz. He's also likely to come much cheaper.

Andy Dalton

Syndication: Dallas

The Colts were rumored to have interest in Dalton before they signed Philip Rivers during the 2020 offseason. Dalton held the backup and eventual starting role with the Cowboys behind Dak Prescott before his gruesome ankle injury. While Dalton was uninspiring, he's still a valuable option as a backup. Dalton is likely looking for a starting role somewhere and there's a chance he might get that while making more money than the Colts would offer. But they should still reach out and see if he'd take on a back up role behind a quarterback in Wentz who has played all 16 games just twice in his career.

Cam Newton

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

It was rough to watch Newton work in the New England Patriots offense in 2020. He had a lot to prove as a thrower and while he didn't do so well statistically, it's pretty difficult to run the complex Patriots offense without the benefit of an offseason. Newton is still likely looking for a starting role but he would be a very interesting backup to Wentz. He can still get it done with his legs and the Colts would be able to hide some of his deficiencies as a passer with their RPO system and quick-hitting passing game. He's probably too expensive, but Newton would be an ideal backup as someone who could take over if Wentz got hurt or is massively underperforming.

Robert Griffin III

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a long road for Griffin ever since that explosive rookie campaign. A litany of injuries kept him from greatness but he has been the backup for Lamar Jackson in Baltimore over the last three seasons. He hasn't seen much playing time, which means he's likely open to taking another backup role. Griffin would be able to run the RPO system with the Colts to an extent where the run game could take off potentially even more. He can create with his legs but there are still questions as a passer. He's attempted just 58 passes in the last three seasons. Griffin would come cheap and would compete with Eason for the backup role but given what the former can do with his legs, he's an option.

Colt McCoy

Syndication: The Record

An uninspiring option but one the Colts could still consider, McCoy was the backup for the New York Giants and Daniel Jones in 2020. He stepped in for two starts and was fine keeping the offense afloat as it were. If anything he would be competition for Eason to show he can beat out NFL talent. McCoy would also come cheap as he's not getting any starting offers anywhere so the Colts could bring in a veteran to backup Wentz while giving their young quarterback in Eason some incentive to win the job in the preseason.

1

1