The Indianapolis Colts looked at a variety of options at quarterback before trading for Matt Ryan, including one potential move for a young player.
"It would have been a trade scenario for a younger guy," owner Jim Irsay said Tuesday. "At least two ones, probably."
Two first-round draft picks would represent a much higher cost than the third-round pick Indianapolis sent the Atlanta Falcons for the 36-year-old Ryan. The other deal still never materialized as hoped.
"You know we looked at a young guy or two, it was probably one, but really, in the end, he wasn't available, after all was said and done," Irsay added.
The Colts traded Carson Wentz to the Washington Commanders on March 4, but Irsay admitted Tuesday there was no Plan B at the position, via Zak Keefer of The Athletic.
"It's just, for us, it was just it was something that we had to move away from as a franchise—it was very obvious," Irsay said about dealing away Wentz.
The Colts still needed a replacement, with only Sam Ehlinger and James Morgan on the roster.
Indianapolis ended up with Ryan, the 2016 league MVP who had spent all 14 years of his NFL career with Atlanta Falcons. It represents another "win-now" addition for the organization, which added Wentz and Philip Rivers in the previous two offseasons.
Adding a younger quarterback could have been more of a long-term approach, giving the team a face of the franchise it hasn't had since Andrew Luck retired after the 2018 season.
Irsay didn't name the quarterback, leaving fans to speculate what could have been.
Baker Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo have dominated trade talks in recent weeks, although neither player likely would have cost two first-round picks.