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How would the Colts season have played out if Gardner Minshew wasn’t on the team?

The franchise leaned on him to start 13 games when Anthony Richardson went out for the season.

The veteran, while he didn’t light the world on fire statistically, kept the team above water and it came down to the final game of the season to eliminate them from playoff contention. Now, one of the biggest off-season decisions for Chris Ballard and company is whether or not to bring Minshew back next season or if Minshew wants to come back or pursue other options.

I was a big proponent and fan of the Colts signing Minshew last off-season.

It made a lot of sense.

He had been in Shane Steichen’s system with the Philadelphia Eagles, he had shown he was able to play competent football and seemed willing to be a mentor to a young quarterback.  He checked all of those boxes for the Colts this past season but will he be willing to do it again in 2024 and beyond?

Minshew was signed before the Colts drafted Anthony Richardson but seemed comfortable in guiding the rookie as best he could to learn Steichen’s system and adjust to the NFL grind.

He did it this past year but now that he knows Richardson is going to be the starter for 2024 will he want to go somewhere else where starting is more likely?

Richardson failed to complete a game he started in and eventually got banged up enough where Minshew started 13 games so maybe Minshew could say Indy is his best chance of starting again.

Given Richardson’s injury track record it isn’t the most outlandish thought.

Minshew will turn 28 in the off-season and could be looking at a pretty solid payday in free agency as he seems to be one of the more reliable and competent backups in the league.

Will the Colts be willing to match offers from other teams?

That remains to be seen but it’s undeniable that Minshew kept the rig on the road for the Colts when it looked like the season was about to nosedive when Richardson was lost.

If the Colts are able to hold onto Minshew, they’ll have a solid security blanket behind Richardson that has even more seasoning in Steichen’s offense.

If the Colts lose Minshew it will be interesting to see who they bring in with a veteran presence.

Sam Ehlinger seems likely to be gone.

It seems unlikely Kellen Mond is any sort of answer either so they’d have to go outside the organization to find a solid backup for Richardson entering Year 2.

Minshew seems like the logical and easiest answer but the Colts may have to pony up to keep him.


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