Colts Need ‘Blockbuster Trade’ to Get Offense Going, Says Analyst

Frank Reich

Getty A former Indianapolis Colts player says it's going to take a 'blockbuster trade' to get the Colts offense going this season.

The 2022 NFL offseason has seen no shortage of memorable signings and trades. But NFL analyst and media personality Darius Butler says it’s going to take one more blockbuster trade for the Indianapolis Colts offense to really get rolling this fall.

While appearing on The Pat McAfee Show on March 24, Butler said the Colts need to do “a lot,” including a “blockbuster trade” at wide receiver if the offense is going to work under new quarterback Matt Ryan.

“It’s one thing for a receiver to be big, strong, fast, all those things. But you got to be able to win and beat coverages, win matchups, be in certain spots,” Butler said. “Especially with a quarterback like Matt Ryan because he’s the complete opposite of Wentz. He’s going to be a statue in the pocket.

“Obviously, you got to address that left tackle position as well. But he’s going to be a statue, he knows where to go with the ball. He has seen everything in this league. But you need some real dogs at wide receiver.”

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Big-Named Receivers Coming to Indianapolis?

The Colts were not reported as serious suitors for the two biggest-named wide receivers traded this offseason, All-Pros Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill, but Butler says Indianapolis should be pursuing other veteran wideouts.

On The Pat McAfee ShowButler mentioned DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Stefon Diggs by name. He also brought up free agent receivers Julio Jones and Jarvis Landry.

The Seattle Seahawks traded quarterback Russell Wilson and released linebacker Bobby Wagner this offseason, moving the team into a rebuilding process. That has propelled rumors that either Metcalf or Lockett could be on the trading block.

Although Diggs hasn’t been mentioned as a trade candidate this offseason, Butler is interpreting the Buffalo Bills receiver’s tweets as an indication he could be interested in landing a big contract somewhere else just as Adams and Hill have.

Diggs, who was an All-Pro while leading the NFL in receiving yards and catches during 2020, tweeted, “The hell going on …” on March 23 in reaction to the Hill trade. Then he posted on Twitter, “It’s always business… never personal” on March 24.

Jones and Landry are two big-named wideouts who NFL teams have released this offseason. Jones played for 10 years with Ryan in Atlanta. Landry has been an excellent slot receiver throughout his career and could be a good compliment to Indianapolis’ breakout star at wide receiver, Michael Pittman.

Darius Butler Not a Believer in Michael Pittman as a No. 1 Wide Receiver

In his second season, Pittman posted 88 catches, 1,082 receiving yards and six touchdowns during 2021. But overall, Butler wasn’t all that impressed by that stat line.

“I like Michael Pittman, but you don’t want to be developing Michael Pittman into being that No. 1 guy,” Butler said. “And then who’s the best pass catchers behind him?

“So we need to get at least, I’d say, two top-notch pass catchers to make this [Matt Ryan] trade actually work.”

If Butler defines “top-notch” as one of the five guys he named, acquiring two of those receivers is simply an unrealistic goal, especially when considering the Colts don’t have a first-round pick to trade this offseason.

Big-named players aren’t always the best answer either. Jones just turned 33 and has missed 14 games the last two seasons because of injuries. The Colts might be better off signing a different former Falcons wideout — Tajae Sharpe, who will be younger and cheaper.

Sharpe had 25 catches for 230 yards in seven starts last season. Jones posted 31 receptions, 434 yards and a touchdown in 10 starts.

There’s no doubt that Pittman as a second option for Ryan will make the Colts offense more dangerous. But he had almost twice as many targets as any other Colts player last season, which meant opposing defenses likely made him their top priority to stop in the Colts passing game. Yet, he was still very productive, posting a 1,000-yard season.

Any quality wide receiver opposite Pittman is going to take attention away from the 24-year-old receiver and help Ryan.

It sounds like Butler won’t be happy, though, unless that quality receiver is a household NFL name.

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