Proposed Trade Lands Colts Speedy Veteran Wide Receiver

Frank Reich

Getty A proposed trade sent head coach Frank Reich and the Indianapolis Colts a speedy wide receiver.

The Indianapolis Colts do not have a wide receiver older than 25 on their active roster. That lack of receiver experience has been evident early in the 2022 season, especially with a quad injury to Michael Pittman Jr.

NFL writer Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report proposed the Colts fix that issue by trading for veteran receiver Darius Slayton.

“If Indy wants to turn its season around, it needs to get Ryan some help ASAP,” Knox wrote. “Trading for New York Giants wideout Darius Slayton could help the depth tremendously.”

Slayton doesn’t turn 26 until January, but he is in his fourth NFL season. During his first 3 years, he posted 124 catches, 1,830 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns.

While those are modest numbers, Slayton would rank first among the Colts receivers in career receiving yards and touchdowns if Indianapolis acquired him.

What Slayton Would Bring to the Colts

At the NFL combine 4 years ago, Slayton turned heads with a 4.39 40-yard dash time. He wasn’t drafted until the New York Giants selected him in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, but then the speedy receiver posted an impressive rookie season with 48 receptions, 740 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns in 14 games.

At the very least, Slayton would bring a speed element to the Colts that they don’t really have in their receiver room at the moment.

After mostly repeating his rookie numbers during the 2020 season, Slayton wasn’t featured as much in the Giants passing game last year. In 2021, he recorded 26 receptions, 339 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns.

To begin this season, Slayton doesn’t have a catch through 2 weeks. He’s played only 4 snaps. Knox argued that’s an advantage for a team that is interested in trading for him.

“The Giants are unlikely to get a large return for Slayton because they have little trade leverage—they’re not using him and can’t pretend that they intend to,” Knox wrote. “Moving him, though, would clear just over $900,000 from the books.”

Knox added that the talent is still there for Slayton despite his lack of usage. In the NFL writer’s proposed trade, the Colts sent a 2023 seventh-round pick and 2024 sixth-round selection to the Giants for Slayton.

Colts’ Lack of WR Depth

Other than speed, the Colts should be interested in Slayton because he’s a proven commodity. That’s the problem with Indianapolis’ receiver core besides Pittman — before this season, none of the other Colts wideouts had registered even 4 catches in an NFL game.

Slayton has experience. With the Colts, he could take some double coverages away from Pittman and immediately become quarterback Matt Ryan’s No. 2 target in the passing game.

“The Colts should jump at the chance to add a proven pass-catcher to their ranks,” wrote Knox.

In Week 1, Pittman posted 9 catches for 121 yards with a touchdown. That total accounted for about one-third of Indianapolis’ receiving yards in the game.

During Week 2 without Pittman playing because of a quad injury, the Colts receivers combined for 8 receptions and 126 yards. Indianapolis didn’t even score, losing 24-0.

Despite missing Week 2, Pittman still leads all Colts wideouts with 9 catches. He’s also second in yards, trailing Ashton Dulin by just 4 (125 versus 121).

Other than Pittman, Dulin is the only Colts receiver to eclipse the 40-yard mark during the first two weeks. Slayton has registered at least 40 yards in 20 of his 44 career games in the NFL.

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