Colts general manager Chris Ballard was at the top of an awful lot of lists of GM candidates before he was hired by Jim Irsay last winter, and a number of NFL insiders have told Pro Football Weekly the Colts owner really outsmarted more than a few teams by letting others shop and hire first before he got his guy.
Offseason additions like Johnathan Hankins and Jabaal Sheard appear to be extremely shrewd tier-two additions, and getting Malik Hooker with the 15th pick in the first round may prove to be one of the great steals of all-time.
But nobody’s perfect, and more than a few insiders we’ve talked to are questioning why Ballard would have gone to training camp with just Scott Tolzien and Stephen Morris behind Luck at quarterback if he had any indication Luck might not be ready for opening day?
Adding to that intrigue is Ballard’s holiday weekend trade of former first-round pick Phillip Dorsett — Ryan Grigson’s choice, not Ballard’s — to the Patriots for quarterback Jacoby Brissett.
Taken as a standalone deal, the trade is receiving solid reviews from scouts PFW has talked to, with the strong consensus being Brissett has a much higher ceiling than Tolzien, and that it’s likely Brissett will win the No. 2 job in fairly short order.
But, why wait until the week before the season opener to make the deal if the Colts had any idea Luck wouldn’t be ready?
The obvious answer is you wouldn’t, and that suggests Luck may not be on schedule with his rehab, and that the Pro Bowl quarterback’s 2017 debut could still be a number of weeks down the road.