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Indianapolis Colts could reportedly pursue Gardner Minshew trade

Matt Johnson

The Indianapolis Colts traded away Carson Wentz before having a viable quarterback ready to take over. If the front office misses out on its top target, Gardner Minshew could potentially find his way to Indianapolis.

Before even landing their 2022 starting quarterback, the Colts wanted to move on from Wentz. Once he flew out of Indianapolis, general manager Chris Ballard shifted focus towards finding his next signal-caller for Frank Reich’s offense.

For now, the Colts are focused on pursuits of Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins and the potential availability of Las Vegas Raiders passer Derek Carr. However, both franchises have expressed a reluctance to part ways with the fear of slipping into quarterback purgatory.

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Lacking a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Indianapolis won’t be able to land one of the top quarterbacks in this year’s class. While there are intriguing options in NFL free agency, one league insider believes there’s another target on the team’s radar.

According to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, Minshew is a name to keep an eye on for the Colts. While he’s on the final year of his rookie contract and the Philadelphia Eagles want compensation for him, he is a proven starting-caliber quarterback.

Is Gardner Minshew a good fit for the Indianapolis Colts?

NFL: Washington Football Team at Philadelphia Eagles
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There is a level of familiarity for the Colts’ front office with Ballard. They likely scouted the 2019 sixth-round pick and he made two starts against the franchise during his time with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

He would be the lowest-paid starting quarterback in 2022 if the Colts landed him. As a former Day 3 pick, Minshew is owed just a $2.54 million base salary next season. However, the Colts aren’t hurting for cap space after the Washington Commanders agreed to absorb Wentz’s entire contract.

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This is a quarterback with a low ceiling. During the 2020 season, per Player Profiler, Minshew ranked 22nd in air yards per attempt (7.6), 21st in accuracy rating (7.3) and threw 23 interceptable passes. However, his 75% true completion rate finished ranked 7th among quarterbacks and he finished top-20 in catchable pass rate (76.8%).

At the very least, Minshew would be coachable. Considering what the Colts just went through with their last starting quarterback, that might already make Minshew an upgrade in their eyes.