Trade Proposal Boosts Colts Wide Receiver Depth

Frank Reich

Getty NFL writer Alex Kay of Bleacher Report proposed head coach Frank Reich and the Indianapolis Colts acquire a wide receiver before the start of the 2022 NFL season.

The young Indianapolis Colts wide receivers have continued to progress during training camp. Two of them, Dezmon Patmon and Mike Strachan, were impressive with lots of playing time in Week 2 of the preseason on August 20.

But that hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from turning, and rumors are still circling that the Colts could add at wide receiver.

While veterans Odell Beckham Jr. and T.Y. Hilton are still available in free agency, NFL writer Alex Kay of Bleacher Report proposed the Colts traded for New York Giants receiver Darius Slayton to fill out their wideout depth chart.

“Slayton could immediately step in as the WR3 in Indianapolis, giving the club a promising young receiving corps that has a chance to heavily impress this coming season,” wrote Kay.

Slayton has posted 124 catches, 1,830 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns in his three-year NFL career. That’s pretty solid production for the 2019 fifth-round selection.

But he’s coming off a season of career lows in all major receiving categories. Slayton recorded 26 catches, 339 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns with 58 targets and 536 snaps during 2021.

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What Slayton Would Bring to Colts

The 25-year-old’s best NFL season arguably came during his rookie year. He posted 48 receptions for 740 yards in 2019. His 8 receiving touchdowns also led the team during his first season.

Slayton essentially repeated those numbers during his second season. He recorded 50 catches, 751 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns in 2020. Over his first two seasons, Slayton averaged 15.2 yards per catch.

But to bolster their receiving core, the Giants added Kenny Golladay and first-round pick Kadarius Toney last year. That limited Slayton’s opportunities during his third season.

His chances to play for the Giants could be even more limited in 2022.

“With Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney returning to the mix as starters, and Wan’Dale Robinson the top candidate for the WR3 role this year, Slayton could see even fewer offensive snaps than the career-low 536 he logged last year,” wrote Kay.

“The G-Men would be better served taking a sixth-rounder from a team like the Indianapolis Colts over burying Slayton on the depth chart.”

Kay proposed the Giants deal Slayton to Indianapolis to give quarterback Matt Ryan another experienced receiver.

Colts Current Wide Receiver Depth Chart

Any proposed trade to acquire a receiver for the Colts is working under the assumption that general manager Chris Ballard and head coach Frank Reich are not satisfied with the current wideouts on the roster. All indications are that’s not the case.

Reich and Ballard have said all offseason how pleased they are with the progress of all their young receivers. ESPN’s Stephen Holder reported that the “rate of growth” in those young wideouts, particularly rookie Alec Pierce, is why the Colts don’t feel they have “to make a move” at receiver.

Patmon and Strachan showed why the Colts brass has confidence in their young receivers during Week 2 of the preseason. Patmon caught a 50-yard touchdown pass and led the team with 5 receptions and 103 receiving yards. Strachan played well too, recording 3 catches for 45 yards and a score.

Pierce, who the Colts selected with their first available pick during the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft, is competing with Parris Campbell this preseason. Campbell is also a former second-round pick and is out to earn a second contract this year.

Of course, Indianapolis’ top outside weapon is Michael Pittman Jr. He registered his first 1,000-yard season in 2021.

Even if Slayton comes with a cheap trade price, the Colts will probably need to lose faith in their young receivers to seek a wideout trade with the Giants.

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