Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are the only two projected starting quarterbacks for the upcoming 2022 season that are older than Matt Ryan, who will celebrate his 37th birthday on May 17.
Worrying about the backup quarterback role hasn’t exactly been a luxury afforded to the Colts recently. The organization hasn’t been able to nail down its starter behind center for more than a year at a time.
But with Ryan now in the fold, head coach Frank Reich addressed the team’s depth at quarterback in front of the media after the first day of rookie minicamps on May 13. Overall, Reich didn’t sound all that worried about it.
“Chris (Ballard) and I, you know how we roll,” Reich said. “It’s 24/7/365. Is this roster where it needs to be at every position? So that’s kind of the ongoing conversation at all times and at every position.”
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Colts Interested in Nick Foles?
To follow up on Reich’s answer about the team always looking for upgrades at every position, including quarterback, the Colts head coach received a question to gauge the team’s potential interest in veteran signal-caller Nick Foles.
But Reich didn’t really budge on the idea that the Colts will be patient in how they evaluate their quarterback depth.
“We’re always looking at who makes this team better at every position,” Reich said. “Who are the available veterans? Who can we still sign? We’ve talked about this a lot, Chris (Ballard) is very methodical about that process. We’re not in a rush.
“There is a timing to the way things go and the way the roster is put together that is very intentional.”
Carson Wentz led the Eagles to a 10-2 start to that season, but he tore the ACL and PCL in his left knee during Week 14 and missed the rest of the campaign. Foles stepped in and struggled in the final three regular season games, but he excelled after Reich and head coach Doug Pederson designed game plans more specific to him during the playoff’s first-round bye.
Foles then led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl and won the big game’s MVP award.
In his 10-year career, Foles owns a 29-27 record as a starter in the regular season. Foles won 21 of those games with the Eagles and posted a 5-1 record with Reich as his offensive coordinator.
Matt Ryan’s Durability Factor With Needing Quarterback Depth?
Every team wants a veteran backup quarterback. But not every organization values it as highly as other spots on the roster, and there is only so much salary cap room.
Spotrac reports the Colts have about $12.7 million in cap space remaining with 90 players signed, but there are rumors the organization is still interested in signing a veteran wide receiver. Indianapolis has also been connected to cornerback James Bradberry in free agency.
If the Colts are prioritizing either of those positions — cornerback or wide receiver — they might not be able to afford Foles.
Matt Ryan’s durability could also be a factor. Ryan has missed just three games in his 14-year NFL career.
That durability could make the Colts comfortable enough to go with Sam Ehlinger, James Morgan and/or Jack Coan behind Ryan. That way, those young signal-callers will get as much practice repetitions as possible without Foles or another veteran backup on the team.