Chris Ballard: Colts 'Exploring Lots of Options' at QB Amid Carson Wentz Rumors

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIFebruary 5, 2021

Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard speaks during a news conference at the team's NFL football training facility, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard said the team has plenty of quarterbacks "in the mix" to play next season as rumors begin to swirl about possibly trading for Philadelphia Eagles star Carson Wentz. 

"We are exploring lots of options," Ballard told Dan Dakich on 107.5 The Fan. "... I can tell you this, there's no trade going down today." 

The GM went on to say he has faith in head coach Frank Reich and his staff when it comes to making whoever steps in at quarterback work in their system. 

Philip Rivers, who started for the Colts last season, announced his retirement shortly after Indianapolis was eliminated by the Buffalo Bills in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, leaving the franchise without a long-term plan under center. 

Wentz appears more expendable than ever in Philadelphia given a number of factors: The coach who drafted him, Doug Pederson, is no longer with the Eagles; Backup Jalen Hurts, who Philly drafted in the second round last year, could be the team's starter moving forward, and Wentz's play has notably dropped off. 

After passing for 4,039 yards, 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2019, Wentz found himself benched with 2,620 passing yards, 16 touchdowns and 15 picks in 12 games last year. 

Those numbers aren't exactly palatable for a quarterback earning an annual average salary of $32 million per year.

Of course, Wentz is not the only option out there for Ballard to consider. With the Colts not picking until late in the first round, however, that leaves even more room for error should Indianapolis look to trade up. 

"You can't trade up and take the wrong guy," Ballard said. "There's a fine line between being aggressive and desperate. We are not going to operate in a desperate world. ... We will be aggressive when we need to be aggressive."

Ballard did concede that this year's quarterback draft class looks promising and called BYU star Zach Wilson "pretty dynamic." 

In the meantime, the GM said Jacoby Brissett remains an option to start and the club "likes what they've seen so far" from Jacob Eason, but there are still plenty of unknowns there, too. 

The one area Ballard wouldn't comment on was the trade speculation surrounding Houston Texans star Deshaun Watson. 

"I can't talk about Deshaun Watson," Ballard told Dakich. "I just know this, it would be nice to get him out of the division."