Colts GM Chris Ballard: 'Jury Still Out' on Jacoby Brissett as Team's QB in 2020

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 2, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - DECEMBER 22: Jacoby Brissett #7 of the Indianapolis Colts calls a timeout in the game against the Carolina Panthers at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 22, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Justin Casterline/Getty Images

The Indianapolis Colts are keeping their options open regarding their starting quarterback for the 2020 season.

General manager Chris Ballard told reporters Thursday that "the jury's still out" on whether Jacoby Brissett will remain the No. 1 option next year.

Brissett unexpectedly became the starter when Andrew Luck retired in August. The Colts almost immediately reaffirmed their commitment to him, agreeing to a two-year, $30 million extension.

The deal allowed Indianapolis to get a better look at the 27-year-old before it had to seriously consider whether he's the long-term solution.

Brissett's performance largely mirrored his production in 2017, when he filled in for an injured Luck. He threw for 2,942 yards, 18 touchdowns and six interceptions in 15 starts. Football Outsiders ranked him 19th in DYAR (defense-adjusted yards above replacement) among 34 quarterbacks with at least 200 attempts.

Zak Keefer @zkeefer

Objectively, it's difficult to weigh the 2nd half of the Colts' season and believe Jacoby Brissett is the answer at QB. He's had 7 games this year with less than 200 passing yards. First 7 starts: 14 TDs, 3 INT, 3 games +100 rtg Last 7 starts: 4 TDs, 3 INT, 0 games +100 rtg

Ballard thought 2019 was a mixed bag for Brissett, per Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith:

"Jacoby did some good things. I don't want to just look at the second half of the season and say he didn't, because Jacoby did some good things. I think as a whole, not just the quarterback position, but our passing game has to improve. Unequivocally. That has to get better. You have to be able to throw the ball to win in this league."

At the least, it's fair to wonder how much higher Brissett's ceiling goes, and making a deep playoff run is difficult without a dynamic quarterback to run the offense.

The Colts are projected to have a little more than $93.4 million available to spend this offseason, per Over the Cap. That would allow them to pursue a free agent such as Dak Prescott, Ryan Tannehill, Teddy Bridgewater or Jameis Winston.

Prescott aside, none of those options would arguably be a significant upgrade over Brissett, though, especially when factoring in the inflated cost of signing a free-agent quarterback.

The draft would be a better route for Indianapolis.

With the 13th overall pick, the Colts may not have the opportunity to get the best quarterback in the 2020 class. They have the next few months to either consider a move up in the first round or evaluate players who are more realistic targets.